Why the elected southern Sudan government should listen to citizens’ concerns

Category: Commentary
Published on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 06:23
Written by Kuol Mayiir, The New Sudan Vision (NSV), newsudanvision.com
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Kuol
(Melbourne Australia) - The state of political orthodoxy in Southern Sudan has been under unpalatable blockade from self proclaimed political pundits who keep on promoting their own myopic vision. This fallacious vision has worsened Southern Sudan’s overall political, economic and social fabrics. Specifically, it has squashed to its knees the relentless economic structure evidenced by Southern Sudan ugliest nick name- “The Pre-failed State” (Times Magazine). From the time Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) incepted its revolutionary war against the Islamic Government of Khartoum  on 16th may 1983, many of the younger generations who are more attuned to the potency of a credible government in Southern Sudan were not born—of whom I am one of them! Starting from our late fathers to (these) younger generations that endured the agony of war, the chain of support for the SPLA has not fell off our consciences.

Despite that, there are discernible political bungles within the echelon of the SPLM Government that generate more questions. The SPLM political make-up is grossly convoluted as to who exactly makes decisions, and who exactly is responsible for policy releases? This unsolicited convolution is clearly evinced by previous varying pre-election remarks that surfaced between the president of the Government of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir and the secretary general Pagan Amum, on whether the Northern Sudan Constituencies should withdraw their electoral processes. And in which Mr Kiir distanced himself from electoral suspensions; while Mr. Amum who announced the decision of the SPLM Political Bureau is his right hand man.

 

Besides that, the political trajectory within the Southern Sudan Government has been from time to time getting weaker and weaker; either internally or from external forces such as the National Congress Party (NCP). However, the political fretfulness generated by the NCP doesn’t disquiet most of us, because the partnership between both parties (SPLM and NCP) is enshrined in the documented back bone—the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). All Southern Sudanese want an effective management of resources, as well as the formulation of the policies of the government. Frankly, our government’s utilisation of the resources, as everyone would agree, has been erroneously abused across the political spectrum of the same government without the aim for potential developmental dividend.

The Government has also been underperforming in the war on corruption. We have seen, we have witnessed, and we continue to hear frivolous warnings to those who are the contributors of a problem, and there has been no single action despite the vexing intensity of its rhythm. Along that, in Southern Sudan, there is a mysterious virus that “eats up nation’s money”, a virus (or corruption) that has no political diagnosis other than a promise for its diagnostic procedures, and we end up with the accused not being put on trial. Several times, the president of the Government of Southern Sudan and the one many of us so far called “our leader Salva Kiir” had denounced corruption—that “those who steal public money should be brought to justice”-but have they!? If any, which law has so far been applied to such crime makers? I think none.

 

To not steer the wheel harder, the big issue here is about the way the SPLM and its associates marshal their policies. How they produce and disseminate their differing policies to the detriment of the innocent public. Nonetheless, criticism and public opinion are always what give most  of our leaders stomachache, and they should be assured criticisms are not threat to their privilege. To come up with good policies requires that the governemnt listens to citizens' inputs because policies mean to police, and the government cannot succeed with out the public. There is a need for this elected South Sudan Government to shore up its diminishing credibility by listening to the citizens. Having a citizen-centric SPLM Government would certainly re-engage the Southern Sudan public to believe that there is a functional system of government that is answerable to its citizens’ concerns, and that works to reduce the rampant misappropriation of public funds. The SPLM government should set sights on promoting efficient use of nation’s money for intended purposes as opposed to much conceptualised use of national budget for personal prestige. Doing the above sends a clear signal to the National Congress Party (NCP) that there is a contemporary Southern Government that adheres to the rule of law, and not rule by command!

 

Now there is a clear winner and loser in these previous elections, what sort of political environment would we like to dance on its focal point? A well cemented platform that allows scrutiny of governmental policies, or otherwise a thorny-inhabitable environment that doesn’t tolerate opposition? To make things afloat for the people and the nation at large, this incoming government needs to know that there is no place on earth where there is democracy without opposition, or where there is a government without the people it serves. The government should patriotically set up a parliamentary system where there will be a government and opposition; to allow for more efficiency in various administrative duties of the ministries. This is because, if there is a watch dog, or a person watching over one’s ministerial duties, as well as how competently you execute them, it is more likely that your work would be of expected standard.

 

Obviously, what pops up from our leaders’ minds when someone questions their muddles is that, “these are the detractors!” No, that is not how politic works, and it would mean you are embroiled in a game of no spectators. A game that has no value and meaning attached to its objective! We are the people you proclaim to liberate, and we need you not to get lost as you experiment your path towards a meaningful enlightenment.

 

*Kuol Mayiir is a Psychology student at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .