Minister Gier:Interior department needs reform

Category: Writing aboard the Kenya Airways: A story on coming to Rwanda for the first time
Published on Tuesday, 16 June 2009 02:33
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Manyok Biar is a contributor to NSV
 (Texas,USA)--The ministry of Internal Affairs is arguably the blood circulation of every government because the main functions of government are security and order. Other functions: education and healthcare work only if the former two functions are clearly implemented. Incompetent minister of interior means ineffective government and vice versa.

 Southerners that I talked to are excited about the promotion of former Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services Major General Gier Chuang to ministry of Internal Affairs because of his willingness to work and his records of successes.

 In the letters’ section of South Sudan Nation (SSN), Dr. Thuou Loi Cingoth says that the new Minister of Internal Affairs Gier showed a promising sign of seriousness in saying that he would not work if security of the citizens is not genuinely addressed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as priority number one. I agree with Dr. Cingoth that Minister Gier’s statement is important. Such a statement shows the determination of a person.

 The only person, Gatkuoth Deng, who voiced his criticism of Minister Gier was even constructive in his criticism. He writes, “Now, another notorious minister, Gier Chuang, has taken over. Although people think he may do better in action, others question his personality. They think he is reckless or wild and may authorize activities which will contradict the constitution and principles under which the GOSS was formed (SSN, June 11, 2009).

 Both critics and supporters of Gen. Gier believe that he may do better in action. That is important.

 Gen. Gier’s records show that he is a man of action. In Panyido, in 1989, crimes became the order of the day, including raping of women by soldiers. Gen. Gier was sent to Panyido to restore order and he did it within one month. There was security thereafter in Panyido even when Gier had gone.

 During the war, Gen. Gier was the head of signal unit of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). He trained competent signal officers who were able to intercept enemy activities everyday despite the advanced technology of Sudan Armed Forces signals at the time, compared to that of SPLA.

 When he became the first Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services after the formation of the government of South Sudan, Minister Gier decided to make GOSS independent from Khartoum’s system of communication, and he successfully did it when he signed a contract with Uganda telecom to use Uganda international area code.

 The only thing that Gen. Gier never brought to a successful conclusion in his record of leadership was the investigation of the death of Dr. John Garang. Gen. Gier was not the overall leader of the investigation team; he was the leader of SPLM team. But still, Gen. Gier voiced his disapproval of the premature conclusion of the investigation. I was in Kampala at that time and had talked to Gen.Gier face-to-face.

 As a Minister of Internal Affairs now, Gen.Gier needs the support of both the government and the citizens if he is to restore security and order in South Sudan. The parliament needs to speed up the reform bills that Gen. Gier might forward to them. Citizens need to give Gen. Gier constructive ideas for reform. He is open-minded as far as I know, unless he has changed from Gier that I know.

 Gen. Gier needs to reform the police. There should be one hotline for police that citizens can call if they are in trouble. The example of the hotline is 999 in Uganda. This hotline must be free so that anybody who is in trouble can call it without buying airtime. The hotline should also have area ID so that it shows where the caller is calling from. This will make wrongdoers fear because they know that every citizen has access to law. It makes police effective, too.

 Areas should be assigned to police officers. The government should then provide every police post with at least two to three vehicles. One car would patrol the areas twenty fours hours seven days a week. Another car should be for emergency and the other one is for the inspector of that area. The inspector should be answerable to his or her superiors for crimes committed in his or her area.

 Traffic police should also patrol roads to spot crazy drivers and give them the specified punishment. The most effective punishment is always fine.

 Checkpoints that promote corruption should be removed. Justice includes fairness. Many ethicists believe that justice and care belong together. Therefore, justice, fairness, and care for citizens should be the focus of checkpoints.

 Accountability of government workers is the effective way of conducting effective government affairs. The reason why government pays workers is to get their services for the nation. Government workers should either serve or quit. The reason why people complain about disappearances of billions of dollars without any development in South Sudan is because of both corruption and lack of citizens’ knowledge that their salaries are part of those billions of dollars. Workers need to bring changes because of those billions.

 University professors, especially social sciences professors, need to be given research money to do program evaluations in local government and departments to identify sleeping officials. Polls also need to be carried out to find out how people see the function of the government.

 *Zechariah Manyok Biar is a graduate student at Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA. He is pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and a Master of Science in Social Work, specializing in Administration and Planning.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.