Kiir Was an Accident: The Problems of Accidental Presidency

By Michael Gatwec Joak

Nashville, Tennessee USA

A portrait of South Sudan's incumbent president Salva Kiir Mayardit(Photo: supplied)
A portrait of South Sudan’s incumbent president Salva Kiir Mayardit(Photo: supplied)

July 17, 2015(Nyamilepedia) Accident: an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss. The definition of an accident is what characterizes the leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardiit since he took over after the death of Dr. John Garang De Mabior.

The simple reason for why people suffer under accidental leadership is because it is unplanned by the individual who suddenly assume leadership position. Having the desire to lead and finding yourself in the position of leadership are two different things. Leaders who have plans to leads organize comprehensively for leadership role before that day arrive. They also lay out their philosophies and go out to explain to the people why the nation will benefit from them.

Accidental leaders on the other hand lack self-esteem that consequently makes them suspicious of others. They think of their countrymen as potential enemies who are busy plotting to take “his post”. They have little time for whatever else going in the country because they are busy protecting their chair from imaginary enemies. They tend to micromanage everything from national decisions all the way down to county level decisions. Those above mention are the central features of Salva Kiir’s leadership. A leadership describes as “demoralizing” by Pagan Amum Okech, the Secretary General of SPLM chair by Salva Kiir himself.

Salva Kiir never felt comfortable around John Garang and he started dismantling Garang’s plans shortly after his death. He distanced himself from Garang boys as quick as he can because they remind him of a man who still overshadow him even in death. From Dr. Garang to Dr. Riek Machar whom he is well aware of his ambitions. Salva Kiir rather set South Sudan on fire than to let another person take over. Thousands of people have died all over the country but Salva Kiir never once tried to act as a president and help settle some of those minor disputes that have turned into tribal war with disastrous consequences for the local communities. Currently, Lake State is going through hell, but again you will not hear Salva Kiir talk about them because that is not his priority. I do not know Salva Kiir as a person, but I do know his presidency has been nothing but headache and pain for South Sudanese. My questions to Salva Kiir’s supporters are simple: does this man really inspire you? Does he really have your best interest at heart? Does he speak for you? Are you really proud that he is your leader? When it is all set and done, will you tell of your time with Salva Kiir to your children or will hide like Amin’s, Hitler’s, Pinochet’s, Pol Pot’s followers?

In conclusion, accidental leadership is not a South Sudanese phenomena, it is a world issue. Since I live in United States I will give you these two examples. Andrew Johnson the 17th President of the United States and Lyndon Johnson the 36th President of the United States respectively. Both men ascent to the presidency after both Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were assassinated. Andrew Johnson’s was problematic to the point where he was the first sitting United States President to be impeach. Lyndon Johnson wanted to be the president so bad he was sworn into the office inside the plane carrying the body of Kennedy back to Washington D.C. with the first lady covered in the blood of her just shot husband. By the end of his term, he was so traumatizes by his handling of Vietnam War and declined to run for a second term. American moved on and someone cleaned up their mess when they were out of the presidency.

Salva Kiir is an accident just like another other accidents; someone(s) is willing to clean up his mess and South Sudan too will move on.

The author can be reached at mgatwec@me.com

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