Words of advice for Mr. President, Kiir Mayardit

Category: Writing aboard the Kenya Airways: A story on coming to Rwanda for the first time
Published on Thursday, 16 June 2011 02:24
Written by Kuir Garang, The New Sudan Vision (NSV), www.newsudanvision.com
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(Calgary, AB) - Any organization that faces external threats should always know how to deal with internal discomforts in order to prevent external problems from compromising the organizational solidarity. However, we’ve seen over the years since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that the Government of South Sudan and the ruling party, SPLM, have had a big problem when it came to maintaining a disciplined voice vis-à-vis airing out sensitive policies.

An Athenian poet and Lawmaker wrote long time ago that “in giving advice, seek to help, not please, your friend.” And this is what I plan to do here: advise not please!  

 As a son of South Sudan and a person who hopes to one day contribute (minimally) to the structuring in that would-be independent nation, I have to slip in these undesired words to Mr. President.  Mr. President, disagreements are natural in any healthy policy entity, however, there has to be a way in which such disagreements are aired out so as to maintain the unity and mature working of that entity. Your organization is full of shame-engendering contradictions that you can easily do away with. Your recent comments to the press pointing out your dissatisfaction with the office of the Vice President, Mr. Riek Machar (Ph.D), were irresponsible.  

When it comes to corruption in South Sudan, you have to stop lamenting about it and start putting our modalities that can help fight corruption. Saying that corruption is detrimental to the country’s developmental enterprise without vivid descriptive and substantial prescription we should follow is a complete lack of sound leadership. A few suggestions here would do:

When it comes to being a leader, you have to know that your advisors are only to supplement what you have. There has to be a governmental strategy that has to be put in place. This strategy has to be clearly presented to the South Sudanese people. So far, you are lacking in this. I understand all energies have been focused on the declaration and celebration of independence. However, the war to develop the country will be more daunting than the 4 decades of war Sudan endured. Be firm in terms of what your vision is for South Sudan. Be explicit as to what your priorities are. Be clear in terms of addressing the needs of other South Sudanese who might not share your vision for South Sudan. Be very careful in terms of how you address people’s concerns when it comes to the Draft Constitution. These concerns have to be addressed with some sort of presidential maturity. Your duty is to let South Sudanese ungrudgingly understand some of the clauses that are causing concerns. 

Above all, having no term limits for a president doesn’t reflect well on you and you should address that. Dissolving an elected leadership (Governorship and state legislature) is undesired even when there is a crisis in the state.

Doing away with elected leadership in a state is some sort of meddling in state issues. There has to be a clause that temporary puts an elected leader in charge until an election is held.

How about having the governor dissolve the state parliament himself or herself and call an election in consultation with the national parliament and the president?

As an elected leader in the state, the governorship should be the one who should dissolve the state parliament and call an election. The speaker of the house can be the temporary governor. You need to keep clear on this meddling.

 Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese writer and poet living in Canada. He's the author of Carcass Valley (Poetry) and Trifles (Novel). For more information about his books, and upcoming books, visit www.kuirthiy.info and www.authorsden.com/kuirthiy