Contributor's Opinion


By David Deng Chapath, Kampala, Uganda,

Mayiik Ayii Deng, the Minister for President Salva Kiir, deliverong a message to Ugandan President at his State House in Entebbe(Photo: file)
Mayiik Ayii Deng, the Minister for President Salva Kiir, deliverong a message to Ugandan President at his State House in Entebbe(Photo: file)

June 10, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— It appears that those who always blame the Press Secretary Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny and the Minister in the Office of the President of South Sudan, Hon. Mayiik Ayii Deng, do not understand the role of the two individuals in the general management of South Sudan by the Government. I shall explain their roles shortly, but first, it is important for those who keep on blaming these two individuals that they are there with distinct role set for them and they are not there to change anything in the State House or the country policies so blaming them can amount to chasing a wild goose while leaving the real cause of our problems.

Thus, when we talk of the Press Secretary in the office of the President, we mean a senior government official whose primary responsibility is to act as spokesperson for the President of South Sudan and the State House. He or she is also responsible for communicating the president’s reactions to world events, as well as providing information about actions of the State and the president’s administration.

In addition he or she is responsible for collecting information about actions and events within the president’s administration and interacting with the media. The information may include a summary of the president’s daily schedule, presidential visitors, and the official position of the administration on current events or political issues.

In the case in the United States of America as the example we shall use in our present discussion, the press secretary traditionally fields questions from the State House press corps in the daily press briefing and press conferences, which are generally televised, and “press gaggles,” which are on-the-record briefings without video recording, although transcripts are usually made available.

The press secretary also sets embargo rules where the press is asked not to report on information or stories until a specific time.

When it comes to the Minister in the Office of the President in South Sudan according the law, he or she is supposed to implement the mission of that Office which is to enable the President and the overall Office of the president to provide dynamic leadership in realizing the vision of a united and peaceful South Sudan, through the development of coherent policy, quality strategies and effective programmes, and by fostering good partnership and improved working relationships and intergovernmental coordination.

As a minister in the Office of the President his or her functions are: to realising the ministry’s vision; to uphold and implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and looking ahead to the post-CPA period.  To consolidate peace and creating a secure and stable political environment for socio-economic development; to initiate a comprehensive process of national reconciliation and healing; to inculcate a culture of peace, unity and tolerance; to mobilize popular energies and resources for reconstruction, development and wealth creation; to promote national unity and commanding national loyalty through an inclusive and representative government at all level; and to combat corruption and poverty, attaining the Millennium Development Goals, promoting more equitable distribution of wealth, redressing development imbalances and achieving a decent standard of life.

As I have listed the functions of the Press Secretary and the Minister in the Office of the President Above, someone who is reading this article may rush to the conclusion that if that is the case then two of them are to blame for failing to implement such their important functions in the Office of the President, but let me caution you:  where the system is operating contrary to the rules laid down then one or two people are not supposed to contradict what the system says lest they shall be branded rebels against the system. Hope you will understand this point.

In South Sudan it is the system which is in crisis and what is needed, therefore, is the total overhauled or reform of the system. The next question then becomes: who is supposed to reform the system? The answer is, the system cannot be reformed by one person like the Press Secretary or the Minister in the Office of the President but it is the work of all the branches of the government, i.e. the cabinet, judiciary and executive but above all the executive has a greater role in reformation of the system since it is responsible for the implementation of the government policies.

Having stated above, I hope people who have been constantly blaming the Press Secretary and the Minister in the Office of the President will stop blaming them as soon as they have read this article.

In summary, I would like to conclude that Hon. Mayiik Ayii Deng and Mr. Ateny are servants of the system in South Sudan and because of that they have to do what the system says. Blaming them therefore is witch-hunt and ill-intended. These two people do not have ability to reform the system but it is a government to make a decision to reform the system.

The government is not an individual but it is the system by which a state or community is managed. I would like to repeat by saying that those who keeping on blaming these two individuals should stop witch-hunt but blame the president or the government in general, because they have ability to reform the system.

 the author is South Sudanese student residing in Uganda and can be reached through: dengdavid00@gmail.com

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