Contributor's Opinion



By Daniel Deng Mario, Khartoum, Sudan

SPLM-IO chairman Dr. Riek Machar Teny (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

January 15, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — From 1983 to 2005 South Sudan was at Peace as people were enjoying law and order. The SPLM/A was a true government, more government than the government in Khartoum by then and even in other countries despite the fact that the people were in the rural villages or in the bush.

The leader of the SPLM/A, Dr. John Garang was a very effective who was in effective control of the liberated areas. He was known by all the People simply because the people were enjoying the rule and laws, law and order and personal security. The property of the people was protected.

When Garang died in Plane crash in 2005 one year after our military graduation at Ngop Milttary training ceter, the SPLM/A members decided to throw Southern Sudan into the river. I do not know what the SPLM/A members were thinking about to give the country to the indecisive leader who does not know the way forward but only confused the whole nation. 

There were leaders by then including my Chairman Dr. Riek Machar and others who would have managed South Sudan as expected by South Sudanese. But the region was placed under the leader that does not care about the country only what he can get from it.

The leaders like President Kiir manage the country well when there are crisis not because they can manage crisis but the people will be able to concentrate on their problems while blaming each other and continually sympathizing with him when some citizens blame him.

The above is what I call political disorder ideology strategy. This is a situation where there is no clear political ideology and the country is run in confusion and anarchy. It is where the unknown gunmen are common to kill people perceived to be the enemy of the government without accountability.

It was yesterday I heard the unfortunate masterminded death of one of the university lecturers who was killed in a cold blood but whose killers are nowhere to be found. My brother Bhol Chol, a lawyer and lecturer at the College of law at the University of Juba was gunned down by unknown gunmen who came ridding on a motorcycle. 

If we were to have the eyes of God, we would have known those unknown gunmen who might actually be known by the government but their identities are kept secret because they are serving government interest by killing anyone government think should be killed. This is part of political disorder in which citizens are caused to be managed on fear while the government is doing nothing to improve those conditions. 

In the country where there is political disorder ideology, corruption is widespread through the bribery which is widespread in all sectors of the economy and close relations between the government and businesses are mentioned as a crucial factor in succeeding in any work. This is seen in South Sudan. 

For instance, the country’s judicial system is very inefficient since it is plagued by corruption and a culture of impunity. Accordingly, as it has been reported and which I strongly agree with, South Sudan’s primary corruption legislation, the Southern Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and the South Sudan Penal Code Act 2008 are very ineffective since the government is operating outside them as crimes are partners in political disorder, which is a partner to political disorder ideology strategy.

In Judicial system, corruption is very rampant which makes it undermines the courts’ effectiveness in South Sudan. Currently, courts are ineffective. Almost two-thirds of citizens find the courts to be corrupt as it has been reported. What makes matters worse is that the South Sudanese constitution guarantees the judiciary’s independence; however, in practice, it is influenced by the executive who are operating under disorder strategy which corruption is a perfect tool in implementing it. 

As we have witnessed in recent times officials found guilty of corruption in South Sudan go free and in fact if one is not corrupt then he has broken the law and he or she cannot stay in the system for long. Hence, in South Sudan, the English saying that the birds of the same fathers flock together applies.

In South Sudan, the government has deliberately refused to come up with the legal framework to prevent corrupt at commercial sector as well as there is absence of an arbitration law dedicated to handling business disputes as it has been reported. Moreover, there is a weak enforcement of court decisions, and consequently, many commercial disputes are settled informally which sometimes lead citizens to take the law into their own hands which is part of political ideology disorder strategy.  

The police and other organized forces are not left behind. They are widely corrupt and ineffective, which makes them become the source of insecurity to the citizens themselves. There have been a number of reported instances of police acting with impunity and demanding bribes in varied aspects of their operations. This is the same where ranks are being bought like hotcake in black market of the organized forces. The same organized forces are the ones selling arms to civilians who kill each other like nothing without accountability. 

Due to disorganization or disorder as a core ideology of the SPLM government of the day, guns are sold to the civilians so that they kill each other as seen in Greater Lakes State and other areas in South Sudan. The government is enjoying while citizens are killing each other without accountability. This is a party of strategy by the Government to keep things in order of disorder to remain in confusion and to benefit in confusion and disorder.

The public service sector is one where there is the highest prevalent of corruption. The appointments and businesses there are got through favors and gifts. The government officials expect kickbacks as they expect gifts or other irregular payments before giving services to citizens and other people in the country. 

Importantly, recruitment to government positions is based on loyalty to the ruling party rather than on meritocracy. This is why majority of the governors appointed and those they appoint in turn are very hopeless to run any government which becomes worse since there is no supervision as disorder is part of the SPLM ideology. 

 Due to the lack of law and order within, disorder becomes order of the day in running the government and the lack of monitoring leaves room for corrupt officials to siphon public funds, which would typically come from the employment of ghost workers to inflate public payrolls and ghost workers.

Land grabbing is very common in South Sudan under the SPLM as property rights are not well protected and customary land use rights have been replaced by more formal laws, leading to conflict in many communities as formal laws are one of the best means of stealing or escaping the crimes committed under them.

Taxes are corrupted as they are individualized simply because they are part of corruption method and disorder. The government intentionally allows taxes to be collected by individuals so that citizens’ income are depleted and consequently become poor and beggars on the streets. It is important to be understood by Dinka brothers and sisters that the government in Juba is not for their benefits as it is also against them.

It is not disputable that majority of the people who sit under trees for the whole day in Juba while and some who begging on the streets are almost all Dinka people. But when there is conflict, the same President and his cliques turn around to tribalise the conflict that it is between Nuer and Dinka in order to solicit the support of Dinka people as a tribe.

The above scenario explains that there is no true ideology as understood by M. Freeden, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001. M. Freeden, defines a political ideology as a set of ideas, beliefs, values, and opinions, exhibiting a recurring pattern, that competes deliberately as well as unintentionally over providing plans of action for public policy making in an attempt to justify, explain, contest, or change the social and political arrangements and processes of a political community.  

It is the above concept my Party the SPLM-IO has adopted in its action plan. Its constitution and the codes of Conduct contain a very strong political ideology that is trying to answer the question many have been trying to challenge the SPLM-IO that how is it different from the main SPLM in the Government now? 

The Constitution of the SPLM-IO which is the amendment of the SPLM/A manifesto of 1983 which was revised in 2008 provides very strong ideology which is based on citizens’ welfare. His Excellency Dr. Riek Machar is very serious in implementing it, the ideology of the SPLM-IO is the people centred one, and all the government policies will be geared towards achieving one goal: the welfare of South Sudanese irrespective of their tribes. 

What we are fighting against as members of the SPLM-IO whether in group or individually is the negative stereotype in which the Government has tribalised the SPLM-IO and then sell it to the innocent who it is now oppressing without alternative. 

We are ready to educate this people that the SPLM-IO is not a tribal party but tribally perceived and characterized by the SPLM Government as a way of protecting its interests. The SPLM-IO is the people party and all the people can work to improve it as our Chairman is open to all without compromising the national interest upon which the SPLM-IO is founded. 

In summary, the approach of the SPLM to the governance emphasizes that there must be institutional link between policy decisions and interactions between the people and the government. It deals with how services are provided by the state or private sector to the citizens of South Sudan. This is what is called the institutional approach that links politics, ideological that response to the needs of external pressure in which system interconnects citizens with the government and eventually achieves welfare policy formulation. This eventually leads to policy promotion and development, which are only possible by joining forces and considering political powers, ideology and external pressures that exist at the time policy is formulated. This is what is called the politics in the country.

The writer can be reached via mariodeng88@gmail.com,

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