Opinion: SPLM should deliver

By Kuol Abraham Tong

South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit speaking during a SPLM function in Lobonok (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

June 24, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – I would like to thank the SPLM/SPLA for the consistency they have portrayed during the liberation struggle that has resulted into our independence and foundation of the principles that many of us were drawn to. The SPLM/SPLA waged the longest war in Africa that is the 21 years of a struggle creating history in the continent of Africa. This consistency in the ideals of equality, fraternity and liberty led to the creation of South Sudan in 2011.

Many thanks to wounded heroes and heroines; the 2.5 million heroes and heroines whose blood cemented our national foundation as stipulated in our national anthem. These comrades died under the ideals of SPLM and therefore, we must truly credit the SPLM for the sacrifices and the hard-earned freedom that was able to manifest into “SOME” of South Sudanese having freedom, being able to go to school and having access to health care services. However, the million-dollar question is “what then went wrong after independence in that the only thing we ever heard and saw was the prevalence of the slogan “SPLM OYEE”’ at the expense of the services in the country?”

Economy after independence

After South Sudan independence and up to date the SPLM as a ruling party has never clearly defined what economic system South Sudan should follow and how the economy should be managed. What we often see is the “black market” full of illiterate SPLM boys who are believed to have sold some cattle and joined money laundering in the streets of Juba, always seated by the road side with dollars and pounds.

This is not only as a result of them selling some cattle to get capital but also because of some state officials who collaborate with these private sectors in mispricing, misinvoicing , tax evasion, tax avoidance and tax haven. We should regard our public officials and their private sector collaborators as mass murderers, killing thousands of our people through luck of public services compromised by corruption. Monies meant for schools, hospitals, roads, medication and public security have become monies for few individuals, making all of us in South Sudan vulnerable to untimely death. The SPLM were actively involved recently in distributing party masks in the country and what amazed me was the colour and the slogan “SPLM Oyee” that is a campaign of course, It may not be now but a future campaign. It is really a petty favour to do to South Sudanese yet the party has failed in many aspects.

Finally in regards to our economy J1 is full of western educated elites who are more capitalistic in implementing the ideologies of free economic world yet South Sudan does not really need such an economy if we truly need inclusivity in our country.

A country where no tribe in future should ever depend on another tribe economically

We want Autarky through a delinking economy in South Sudan. As Samir Amin defines delinking as “Pursuit of a system of rational criteria for economic options founded on a law of value on a national basis with popular relevance, independent of such criteria of economic rationality from the dominance of the capitalist of value operating on a world scale”
If SPLM as a ruling party implements such an economy we shall all be saying SPLM OYEE. So far, they have only achieved this slogan, especially after independence.

Agricultural revolution

We all know that families or farmers in South Sudan currently produce food that can keep them for up to six or seven months of the year. The rest of the year, they are dependent on buying food from traders who import either from Kenya or Uganda. The government (SPLM which is a ruling party) should identify interested and talented artisans(blacksmiths) and train them to produce both the plough itself and spare parts so that agriculture is boosted and possibly we can stop depending on UN Aid and food imported from East Africa.

Support for cattle owners. This is mostly in the Dinka and Nuer areas. Cattle are viewed as a cultural heritage and sense of pride as well as a source of food in these areas thus the government can encourage these people firstly, by carrying out vaccination programmes for cattle since most cattle are often exposed to contagious and epidemic diseases during the periods of insect invasion. They should also provide dairy machinery for the production of milk that can supply the whole country and possibly East Africa. But the only achievement SPLM die-hards will say is “SPLM OYEE” we will all say that after delivery of these services to the people of South Sudan.

Comprehensive Healthcare for both Civilians and Soldiers

It saddens me when I see soldiers almost moving naked on the streets of Juba with SPLA badge currently SSPDF, without being paid their salary which is delayed for months. That salary could have at least helped them buy paracetamol to reduce pain and fever as a result of the intensive sunshine in Juba. The salary cannot even cover their medical bills, children’s school fees or provide food for their families yet these soldiers can still proudly shout SPLM OYEE thinking that it is the only slogan that can heal their hearts. Despondently no matter how loud they shout, it falls into the deaf ears of party elites as they continue to embezzle their Money!!

At least even if civilians do not matter anymore, the SPLM as a ruling party owes soldiers and wounded heroes and heroines comprehensive healthcare services. SPLM as a ruling party should construct hospitals especially in war-affected areas of Unity state, Bor and Equatoria then later Bahr el Ghazel SPLM has only achieved to a larger extent the slogan “ SPLM OYEE”

The die-hard SPLM boys will respond by saying “They brought independence, freedom and passports for us to travel to other countries .“but, save yourselves from these naive arguments and instead advise your party elites to give us social services rather than the party masks they give just for their campaigns either now or in future. There are more essential things people need than party masks.

After independence, you have only achieved “SPLM OYEE“, “BLACK MARKET” and extrinsic victories in your party war of 2013.

The author is a law student at the University of Nairobi and a concerned citizen of South Sudan. He can be reached via: Kuoltong4@gmail.com


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