Contributor's Opinion

South Sudan governors should be sworn in at state capitals

By Dak Buoth

Photo: Kiir meeting the states governor in J1 this afternoon

June 17, 2020 (SSNN) — The allocation of State governors is a breath of fresh air especially for those who had been arguing and agitating for this to be done speedily without further delay. The restructuring of both National and States governments with a view of restoring peace and rendering services is part of justice that our people are yearning for. Nonetheless, when you delay these aspects of growth and development, you are simply denying them justice to say the least.

I must say, even though I welcome the resolution of the presidency on the allocation of the ten state governors today, I cannot clap or congratulate them, because this is something simple that they could have done way back in February as per the peace agreement which brought them to office this year. At first, they were appearing to be rigid forgetting that they were risking the country. If anything I just welcome their change of hearts only. I will be naïve and actually foolish to pour words of appreciation to them.

In fact they are criminally liable for negligent. Those who perish due to lack of administrations to enforce law and order at the state levels need justice, and their relatives too deserves compensation for heavy loses that the people incurred at the grass roots. President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar should swallow their prides and take political responsibility for the deaths caused by unnecessary delay in allocating and appointing State governors in South Sudan.

Today, if they were brave and sincere enough, they could have come to the press and issue two-fold announcement, one being their agreement on allocation of governors, and the joint written apology to the people of South Sudan for causing them harm. But because of the duo ignorance and insincerity they opted to allow Presidential Affairs Minister Nhial Deng to do the announcement alone without Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth.

In his one page letter dated today, Nhial stated and I quote ‘‘I am happy to announce following today’s round of discussion which comes in the wake of an earlier meeting on Saturday 14th June, 2020, that H.E the President and the first vice president have agreed that, the States of the Republic of South Sudan shall be allocated among the Parties signatory to the ARCSS as follows.’’ Former RTGoNU commonly referred to SPLM-IG for President kiir was allocated 6 States of Warrap, Lakes, Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, and Unity State while Dr. Riek’s SPLM-IO was allocated 3 States of Western Bahr El Ghazal, Western Equatoria and Upper Nile State. The South Sudan Opposition Alliance abbreviated as SSOA was allocated 1 state.  I wish SSOA can appoint Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin as Jonglei State governor.


An hour after this letter of States allocation surfaced today, Catholic Church Catechist and Unity State political Activist, Kawai Chap wrote to me via Whatsap asking where are the three Administrative Areas; I told him those are none issue, and that we are dealing with serious things first. Let the leaders of those administrative Areas wait on the Bench. Remember these so-called administrative areas are not made by the constitution; they were created via presidential decrees in violation of the constitution and the peace agreement. Thus, anybody who wishes to be identified with these three administrative areas is up to him or her. They should wait the day the president select their rulers not governors. I really understand the residents of these administrative areas have legitimate fears, but they could have addressed their fears within the confines of the law and the agreement.

However, this is on a lighter note. What I just want to say and emphasize on Is that, this time around all the ten state governors should be sworn in at state capitals. I have said this before. We are tired of seeing board room inaugurations in Juba. We would love to see the new governors being sworn in under the trees or in an open air in front of their respective states citizens. We need to see not just new brave governors but also new ways of doing things this time around.

Under the transitional constitution, 2011, South Sudan is devolved system of governance with two levels of governments working interdependently. This idea was first coined by Late Dr. John Garang when he talked of taking town to people rather than people town. This modern democratic political concept has never been given meaning in South Sudan, and it’s sad for our country. Now the first thing to be done after the allocation of state governors is to allocate enough budgets for their inaugurations at state capitals.

The third step is to name the governors soon and allow them to form inauguration committees comprising of members from each county within the State. These committees under the supervision of the newly appointed governors should extend invitation letters to their community chiefs and diaspora community representatives to attend the forthcoming inauguration ceremony.  While these are being done, the security at state capitals should be beef up ahead of these celebrations.

The head of the judiciary, Mr Chan Reec Madut should select and disperse Appeal and High court Judges to preside over their swearing-in. In so doing, we shall have created public confidence in the leadership of the new governors, and we shall have tried to show that we have two levels of governments in the country. For a few who don’t know, the Unity State Capital is Bentiu, Jonglie Capital is Bor, Upper Nile State Capital is Malakal or Makal, Eastern Equatoria State capital is Torit, Central Equatoria State Capital is Juba, Western Equatoria state Capital is Wau, Northen Bahr El Ghazal state capital’s Awiel, Lakes State Capital is Rumbek, and Warrap State Capital is Kuajok.

The Writer is the Chairman of Liech community Association in Kenya; the new expressed here are his own, and he can be reached for comments via eligodakb@yahoo.com

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