“Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid’’ Dorothe Bande!
By Dak Buoth,
20th October, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — On Thursday 14th October 2015, I unexpectedly landed my eye on an article published on Sudan tribune online news which partly reads; that the Unity State Caretaker Governor in the person of Nguen Munytuil has approved SSP 350,000 for its University students’ Associations in the Diaspora specifically in Eastern Africa and Egypt, that article bears the name of recently appointed Unity State Minister of Youth Lam Tungwar.
I saw he shared it on his Facebook timelines because we’re Friends on Facebook. I had wished to like or unlike it and or comment either ways but then my gadget had insufficient internet bundles, hence it bounced when tried to click the button.
In its first two paragraphs, I found Lam poured in an avalanche of glowing tributes to the Governor for what he considers a good leadership gesture, that he was congratulating him for prioritizing the youth activities and Education despite the biting economic situation in the country and so on and so forth. At first, I thought, they had already disbursed the aforementioned fund, but when I scrolled my eyes down with view to study the ‘‘particulars’’ cited in the statement, I realized he was just making a ‘report’ about what his Boss had dreamed about. No wonder, he is at liberty to give his praises in advance if he so wish, but I feel it would be more worthy to offer such applauses after the grants reached the intended persons in need.
Ordinarily, what I expect most, if at all, it is statement deserving to be belief were information such as, time and details of how and when they planned to avail the fund to the aforesaid groups. Unfortunately, he hasn’t reveals publicly whether the amount would be remitted via unions accounts neither did he mention any committee that would bring or takes them in those countries where students are studying. In parts, he mentioned another curious point he in the article; that they ultimately made this pronouncement after they had undertaken thorough screening on all the Associations and Unions currently existing in those countries. He didn’t tell us which Association or Unions they found legitimate or illegitimate after that process and on which ground or criteria did they based their verification.
In that regards, I tend to read a mischief in as far as the motive and the disbursement of those fund is concern, as such, It lead me to invoke what Sir Aristotle once said, ’To give money is an easy matter, an in every man’s power, but to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when and for what purpose and how is neither in every man’s power, nor an easy matter, hence it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy, and notable’’
I noticed, the assertion that they made thorough screening appeared in my view as a well-devised scheme on how selective the fund will be disburse if et all they are real money. In short, I look at it as‘condition’ under which they will eliminate other errant unions. For example if they find an Association or union whose Chairperson is somebody consider as a static Opposition stalwart or somebody they aren’t cognizant of his background and or may be the person is said to be holding views contrary to theirs, they may decide to bar such group from benefiting on ground that their union is not organized et cetera,
I tell you, believe it or not, this assumption may not be far from the truth. It is an analysis derived from my personal experience as former South Sudanese Student leader. You should know that I’m doyen of ‘student’s politics’ and specifically when it comes to things like those. I have had a privilege to serve in student leaderships twice, and almost consecutively. I recall our days in SSSAK. South Sudanese students in Kenya only get government grant thrice since South Sudan government came into existence eleven years ago.
The first time South Sudan government brought students fund was in the year 2008, two years after SSSAK was founded in Nairobi. The second time was in 2010 when Mrs. Ayen Madut was the Chairlady. Arguably, it was believed that the reason why student’s grants were given in 2010 was because she was daughter of prominent politician in Greater Bare lgazal where the president hails from.
Gratefully, it was during her tenure and Mr. Bona Machar that I developed an interest to join student politics, and bythe end of 2010, I began to nurture a gut and self-confident to stand before the crowd to articulate issues in quorums. Immediately they exited through the Association‘s annual democratic transition, they passed the baton to us. Our chairman was Hon. Daniel Dut Makwet, a humble, nationalist and Charismatic leader, I must say. Daniel Dut was little defiant and politically lenient whereas I and General Kocrup Makuach were deemed as rabble-rousers and highly abrasive who like kicking controversies, this came after we led massive historical students’ demonstration which saw the Embassy premises paralyzes for two days over the student fund disbursement squabble between us and the late Ambassador Majok Ayom.
Similarly, when students grant were released to us in 2012, the same narrative emerge that it’s because Daniel Dut hailed from the same region of the president Kiir.
However, when comrade Chol Gabriel took over the chairmanship of SSSAK from us a year later, some narrow minded insiders cook scurrilous stories to incriminate him that he was among the ringleaders in our demonstration, as such, they used that as pretext to sabotage his leadership indirectly until the end of his tenure, and the students grants were never release during his time. It was however said that it was because he didn’t hailed from president backyard notwithstanding their ethnic proximity.
Thereafter, in 2014 and early 2015, when I became SSSAK Chairman, things became tough and tougher on all sides. Of course that time, there exist a wide and fierce division among students, nobody was willing to give us an attention leave alone lobbying for students grant, every time they hear of me, it was as if they hear of Gadet Dak, my name sake who was until now the armed opposition leader’s mouth piece. Those whom I served with in the executive board have really persevered a trying time. Luckily when we managed to meet Dr. Gai Yaok, the current Minister of Higher Education at intercontinental hotel after his return from Tanzania, we asked his office to assist us with small amount for our administrative activities, he told us the students grant are given at the mercy of the president and not his discretion.
In those days, every time we meet an official affiliated to the regime in Juba, the first question they asked us before the talk begin, was, how do you people view the ongoing war in the country? It seemed like a good question, but you will find later, the person asking isn’t interesting in knowing our true version on the same. All he is interesting in is you to say, we condemn the coup by Riek Machar and company, and that we support the president and government.
In any event, whenever I encountered such baseless conscriptions, I vanish speechlessly, I would sometime refuse to respond or else I will deliberately shift the debate without his knowledge. At the onset, right from the start of the war on 15th December 2013, I had already indoctrinated my thinking; therefore I was very practical when it comesto matters pertaining the ongoing war. I was among the first youth group in Kenya who went public dismissing the narrative that the causation of the conflict was as result of coup attempt, hence, I do not only dismiss it, but condemn it with contempt it’s deserved. Indeed if there was any coup then its president’s coup. I have unequivocally said in print that there was no coup attempt in Juba but a coronation of autocracy. And that it was not a tribal war between Nuer and Dinka. All along, I have just been wishing and waiting with bated breath for peace to return such and that those who killed innocent unarmed civilians in Juba and elsewhere must be held to account no matter how long it will take.
On the other hand, when someone want you to say, yes, i support the government, I still don’t find logic in this, on what basis can government be supported, and on what program should it be supported, when I hear such, I just dismiss it as hogwash and an insult to my intelligent.
The central idea regarding the students’ fund is that they issued them only when the Association’s Head had good political relation with the president and or if s/he hailed from his backyard. Because the cardinal aim of such projects are in form and character initiated purposely to plough and cultivate grass root political mobilization. If they aren’t for political gain then, the idea of students fund should be put into law which ought to be followed by any person who ascend to the that office, so that students fund should not be given at one’s mercy the way Dr. Gai Yaok told us.
With regard to this fund of Unity State, my suggestion, if I were them, I could just use that money to assist the internally displaced persons who are currently languishing in various swampy areas across the State environs. That money can help in purchasing mosquito nets and other basic needs which are really lacking, so that children and lactating mothers can be rescue from the current state of poverty.
Those who are outside the country in Kenya, Uganda and Egypt are well off, compare to those who are currently in South Sudan. But if they did wish to give this little fund to students who are in abroad for their activities, I still see no problem at all, just brings it on. But we would persistently urge you to invest more In improving the plight of the locals and not concentrating about those in the diaspora.
Nonetheless, If there will be some individuals at some quarters who will holds difference view s over issuance of that amount, I think it will be their opinion just like I’m current stating my own. Nobody can deny such services which are freely offered to them, whether they are brought for political reasons or not, they have to receive them because the reason why we always clamor for change is because we lack some service which are necessary for our lives and which we can’t live without.
Essentially, if they are said to be from unity state, than it is in public domain that they are for all of us irrespective of one‘s political allegiance . Some of us have just been deprived of those resources by those who had military and excessive lust for them.
The writer lives in Kenya, he can be reach for comment via firstname.lastname@example.org