South Sudan at Two Years: Measuring President Kiir’s Legacy

Minneapolis, Minnesota – You might not have been keeping tracks, but we are now two days away from the 9th of July 2013, which will mark the second year of president Kiir premiership and of South Sudan independence. And possibly to mark that occasion, His Excellence, Commander in Chief, and the President of the Republic of South Sudan may hold a press conference, address the legislative assemble, speak to the nation, or simple reflect on his two years legacy. If so, it then beg the question in one mind, what grade will the president gives to himself, his National Assembly, presidential advisors, States Assembly, States Governors, and to the people of South Sudan to whom their conspicuous expectation could have been too high for the new government?

Ultimately in grading his two years legacy, the relevant measures use to judge his legacy are fabricated only from his short coming, but never from the National Assembly, State Assembly, and that of ten Governors. Nonetheless, the 9th of this July is a propitious moment for an early evaluation on whether our entire government, not the president office alone has done or at least try to meet the aspirations set out by the people of South Sudan. Consequently; pointing fingers at just the president neglect the role of other branches of government as define by their jobs duties, presidential degree 10/2011, and the interim constitution. Example; The absence of regulatory reform for a severe punishment of those suspected and convicted of corruption is not the president’s fault, but that of National Legislative body, States Legislative, and the judiciary branches of government. Because in accordance with the Interim Constitution, stated by the presidential degree No. 10/2011 for the Reconstitution of the National Legislative Assembly of The Republic of South Sudan, 2011 issued on 1 August 2011 mandated that The National Legislative Assembly shall exercise the following!

(1)   “Overseeing the performance of the National Government Institutions”

(2)   “Approving plans, programmed and policies of the National Government”

(3)   Summoning Ministers to answer question of members of the Assembly on matters related to their ministries” and

(4)   “Performing any other function as determined by the Transitional Constitution or the law”

So obviously on one end of the spectrum, you have the National Legislative Assembly who seems to have no desire or interest in governing by actually passing meaningful legislation such as foreign investment attraction laws, labor laws, and economic principles laws that can laid the fundamental foundation of economic policies from service economy to a manufacturing economy. And on the other end of spectrum, you have States governors, States Assembly, and counties commissioners who are defaulting on delivering for the president and the people of South Sudan. Also, the role of internal security or protecting local citizens from criminals such as cattle’s raiders is not the responsibilities of the National Government, but that of States Government. Even though an argument could be made as to the absent of resources to support local the States authorities, States government have the right and will of the people to lobby the national government for those resources.

For that reason, more of my disappointments and frustration are due to the failed legislative reforms by National Assembly, States Governors, and States Assembly. It is obvious that none of the current Legislative Assembly members can at this present time testifies to the fact that he/she is a signatory of any regulatory reform bills. But admittedly; we the people of South Sudan have an appetite for perfection from our leaders and high demand for quick fixes. Moving forward, citizen of the Republic have to understand that democracy demand patience hearts, and it require building a society free of intolerant.

To you Mr. President, as you look ahead two years into the future before you marked a decade as head of South Sudan government; you ought to consider reflecting on your own legacy. Because the people of this nation believe that those who work closely with, or advice your office lack the embarrassment function of formulating a judgment to perform with the interest to serve our citizen and your legacy. I amongst others still believe that you personified an instinct of greatness, and motivation to lead our nation forward. In fact, you were amongst the top five SPLM leaders who in 1983 inspired a generation of uneducated men/women to pick up arms and fought the northern army that was well trained and generally supported by strong foreign allies. Brilliantly, you also participated in inspiring a second generation of young children( ages 4-11 years old) better known today as Red-army, to leave the nest of their parents and travel thousands of miles away from home. So in you, there is a ticking time bomb of potential greatness which you showed two week ago in the suspending of two ministers allegedly accused of corruption. The evidence of your greatness is asserted by your cool, calm and collected persona, and it has earned you a grade of C- in the public grading book. Moving forward, you need the right and well trained, well-educated committed citizen beside and I know thousands of them waiting in the wing for call to duty. But not doing so could spell a disaster for lost generation because a “mind is a terrible thing to waste” Thus far, the argument from the citizen perspective as we approach July 9th, is how will history judge this president, National Assembly, and States governors two years tenure?


David Dau Acuoth

University of Saint Thomas

B.S Economic /B.S Justice Peace Study

J.D in progress!

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

M.A in International Business Management (M.I.B)

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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