By Wani Tombe Lako
June 30, 2013 (SSNA) -- In (part 5) of these series of articles, I used this extensive quote, in which, in 2007, in Juba, commenting about the CPA, the then President of the GoSS, and the current President of the RoSS, Lt. Gen. Mayardit said, “…it was designed to ensure an equitable and transparent distribution of wealth and resources. It was intended to create a level of ground for all Sudanese political forces so that they compete freely, in their multiple diversities, and so that the Sudanese people themselves democratically choose their leaders in free and fair elections. Above all, it has ensured for you the people of southern Sudan, the right to self-determination while urging us to create an environment for making unity of our country an attractive opinion…”
In 2007, during the internal self-determination era 2005-2011, under the sole and absolute control of the SPLM/A, the iniquitous phenomenon of unequal pay for equal jobs was rife and blossoming all over South Sudan. The SPLM/A lead government of South Sudan was paying discriminatory salaries, to various socio-cultural and tribal categories of South Sudanese. This made me to worry so much about the futures, of the majorities of South Sudanese in a sovereign and independent South Sudan under the rule of the SPLM/A. What the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members did, during 2005-2011, has nothing to do with equality, equity and transparency in terms of wealth and resources distribution, preached by the then President of the GoSS, and the current President of the RoSS.
Kinky explanations within the remit of compensatory principle were used, to justify these culpable discriminatory economic and financial policies and politics during 2005-2011, by the SPLM/A lead government. It was argued then, and many still argue now that, these negative discriminatory practices were, and are, legal and just, because, these favoured SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, sacrificed everything for two decades and more, in the bushes of South Sudan, for the liberation of South Sudanese from the Jallabas. Therefore, those South Sudanese, who did not go to the bushes of South Sudan, must not complain about the ubiquitous wages and salaries differentials, for doing similar jobs.
The amusing thing was, and is that, a tribally based caveat was, and still is, attached, to this simple, flawed and debased economic and financial discriminatory reasoning. That is, to effectively benefit from this negative discrimination, as even among SPLM/A leaders, operatives, and members, you have to carry certain ubiquitous tribal tags. That is, you have to have a familiar name, a tribal mark and such like. I have evidence of those who fell/ or still fall outside these tribal and socio-cultural indices, but, who went into the bushes of South Sudan, and yet, they were not, and are not, among the beneficiaries of these negative discriminatory economic and financial policies and politics.
What we saw from 2005-2011 in South Sudan, and what we are seeing now in South Sudan; is the mindset of tribalist (s). This mindset is one hundred percent (100%) similar, with the mindset of Nazis German (s). The evil content of their ideologies is the same, notwithstanding the lack of similarities in their names. That is, the one is tribalism; and the other is Nazism. The final solution, in Nazism, which led to the Holocaust, is akin to what is being perfected in South Sudan; and the international community had already seen it in Rwanda. The fashions in which, inherent humanities of others, are being disregarded with impunity, by tribal oligarchs in South Sudan, is another more evil holocaust and Rwanda; in the making, in South Sudan.
In fact, the place is awash with men and women, who belong to the right tribe (s) in South Sudan, and the tribe (s) that control (s) the SPLM/A, and who were not SPLM/A members until 2005 and beyond, and yet, they are now senior people in the government of the RoSS. Some are in fact cabinet ministers. Not only that, but, they have become more senior SPLM/A leaders, operatives, and members due to their mere tribal identification. Some of these people were, and are recent defectors from the NCP, and they are now more important in the SPLM/A, than those others, who spent their lifetime, in the SPLM/A, but, they carry wrong tribal tags.
This means that, you can become a celebrated liberator in South Sudan, by having the correct tribal marks, names and other associated tags; even if, you stayed in Khartoum from (1980-2005). There are hundreds of proper SPLM/A veterans, who do not belong to the tribe (s) that control (s) the SPLM/A in South Sudan, and who have been abandoned on the liberation and CPA roadside. They did not defect to Khartoum, nor have they rebelled against the SPLM/A, but, they belong to the wrong tribes. With all these practices in place, from 2005 up to date, the SPLM/A still want to lecture us about its dedication to values of equity, equality and transparency in wealth and resources distribution in South Sudan. This is offensive.
It is therefore, obvious that, right from 2005 up to date, SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, supported, and continue to support, illegal economic and financial methods, for rewarding labour, knowledge, skills, and experiences in South Sudan. This is absolute travesty and blatant mockery of what the leadership of the SPLM/A claim to be their concern for equity and transparency of wealth and resource distribution in South Sudan. In fact, the SPLM/A government in South Sudan, inadvertently, instituted a false reward structure, it cannot sustain.
Due to ignorance, greed, hate and revenge, the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members thought that, they were stabilising their lives, and that; that shall be for a short time only. In real life, in economic and financial terms, there is not such a thing, like getting inflated salaries and wages, plus other fringe benefits, for a short time. That is, short enough time to stabilise someone’s socio-economic position, and then, this person is expected to revert back to actual salary structure, and to carry on normally. Alas, the result is what we are seeing today; that is, theft in President’s office, dura saga, Kosti and Alor sagas, and the lot. This is equity, equality, and transparency, SPLM/A style in South Sudan, in the past, now and in the future.
I can strongly and validly argue that, from 2007 up to date, SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, have not yet understood that, equity, equality and transparency of distribution of wealth and resources; is not just an abstract political catchphrase. They do not know that, and it appears, they do not want to know that, all these beautifully sounding words mean that, in the South Sudan, the ordinary woman, child and man, want to tangibly feel them.
The downtrodden peoples of South Sudan want to see and feel the benefits of these magic words in terms of beneficial medical/health services, educational services, security services, beneficial employment, better and cheaper food, clean water, better and affordable shelter and all reasonable goods and services that a reasonable and caring government ought to provide for all its citizens.
Unfortunately for us in South Sudan, from 2005 up to date, we have not seen these services, being provided for us by the SPLM/A government in South Sudan; neither during the internal self-determination period, 2005-2011, nor during the era of external self-determination, 2011 to date. What are we supposed to do? May be, we should blame nobody because; we are starting from scratch in South Sudan. Or maybe, we are not patient and grateful enough, and we do not appreciate the personal and group poverty of our SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members.
The most glaring facts that the peoples of South Sudan can read between the lines, from the above quote are self-explanatory. That is, we in South Sudan; must not waste our precious political, socio-cultural and moral times, waiting for nonexistent positive leadership from the SPLM/A. We in South Sudan ought not to wait for vacuous equity; equality and transparency, as far as distribution of wealth and resources are concerned, under the watch of the SPLM/A in South Sudan.
The SPLM/A ought to explain to women, children and men of South Sudan, the world at large, including the donor countries as to why, billions of dollars that were poured into South Sudan between 2005-2011, did not achieve any minimum wellbeing for us in South Sudan? If the SPLM/A did not achieve minimum equitable comprehensive development, in South Sudan, during those years of abundance, that is 2005-2011, why should we believe that, the SPLM/A can do better, in these days of austerities measures, characterised by negative discrimination in South Sudan?
I must remind the SPLM/A that, issues of equitable distribution of wealth and resources, ought not to become, political pawns, in the hands and mouths, of some SPLM/A leaders; for tribal and party political purposes. We are talking about the lives of millions of innocent women, children and men in South Sudan. These women, children and men, relied on the SPLM/A; since 2005, and yet, they are being allowed to perish in South Sudan. They are being allowed to perish, in midst of abundance, due to policies and politics of hate and revenge, in South Sudan, practiced by the SPLM/A, since 2005 up to date.
The then President of Goss; and the current President of the RoSS, in 2007, spoke about level political ground, for free competition. I am sincerely wondering now, as to whether, the then President of the GoSS, understood what he was on about; and as to whether, the current President of the RoSS, understands what he was on about? On the other hand, did he then believe in, and does he; now honestly believe in this so-called level political ground for free competition in South Sudan?
Why many SPLM /A senior and other members did choose to stand, as independent candidates, in the 2010 general elections? Was it not because they were politically asphyxiated by the SPLM/A, under the same President? Was there any semblance of level political ground for free competition in SPLM political parlance in 2010? Is the ubiquitous absence of press freedom in South Sudan, according to the UN specialised Agencies, a semblance of this level political ground for free competition? What about the beatings, arrests, harassments and even killings of thinkers and writers in South Sudan? What do the SPLM/A say about these issues in terms of free political competition in South Sudan under their absolute rule?
On the other hand, are ubiquitous discriminations, in various governmental institutions, on the bases of political affiliations, where people are expected to belong to the SPLM/A, by all means, a process of building level political ground, for free competition in South Sudan? Is the issuances of direct and indirect threats, against individuals, who do not belong to the SPLM/A, in South Sudan, categorised by the leadership of the SPLM/A, as the best political fashion, for building level political ground for free competition in South Sudan?
It is very sad and pitiful for SPLM/A leaders, to be preaching to the whole world on morality of freedom of political competition, when they are actually fighting tooth and nail, to create rough and unequal political ground, for restricted political competition, in South Sudan; from 2005 up to date.
I strongly argue that, the political literature which has been manufactured, by SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, since 2005 is misleading. That is, the characterisation of other South Sudanese, who do not belong to the SPLM as enemies of the peoples is offensive. That is, South Sudanese, who do not necessarily want to belong to the SPLM, for perfectly objective political reasons, are called Black Jallabas (which means Northern Sudanese, or collaborators with Northern Sudanese); and therefore, traitors. This is not, in any sensible political fashion, contributive to the creation of level political ground, for free competition in South Sudan.
Funnily enough, this kind of political witch-hunt, and reminiscence of the Spanish Inquisition, is only practiced on selected individuals from tribes that do not control the SPLM/A in South Sudan. By doing this, the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, want to taint the political image of every South Sudanese who does not belong to the SPLM/A. This means that, to the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members; any South Sudanese, who does not belong to the SPLM/A, is a political, social, cultural, tribal, economic/financial, security, military, moral, religious, mythical, ideological, technological and psychological enemy.
Therefore; is this a logical political position, to adopt, by a political party, which claims to be keen on issues of level political ground, for free competition in South Sudan? It is incredible, how those governments, that are critical players, within the framework of international community, support such kind of a political party, such as the SPLM, with its double political standards as explained above? The SPLM/A has dangerously adopted some peoples’ political theory of, “you are either with us or against us”. I must inform all SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members that, level political ground, for free competition, means, freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience.
The then President of the GoSS; and current President of the RoSS also spoke, in 2007, about his support for the notion of democratic choice of leaders. Therefore, for a people to have the chance to exercise their right to democratically choose their leaders, they have to be guaranteed their personal and family security. The prevailing political environment in South Sudan in 2007; as well as the current political environment in South Sudan, in towns like Juba for example, how can the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, make the peoples of Juba safe in the process of choosing their leaders?
How can a people who are being coerced to think in a unilineal political fashion, develop the capacity to choose their leaders democratically? How can a people who are being politically mislead day-in-and-day-out, have the chance to choose their leaders democratically? Can a people who are not being given the chance to think freely, develop the capacity to choose their leaders democratically? How can a people who are being reminded, via threats of State’s violence, day-in-and-day-out that, without the SPLM/A, their lives would be either lost or useless; think of political alternatives to the SPLM/A?
How can a people who are being manipulated to think, and believe that, the SPLM/A is South Sudan, and vice versa, develop the sense of democratically choosing their leaders? How can a people who are being socially, politically, and militarily socialised, to feel completely dependent on the SPLM/A, develop the capacity to democratically choose their leaders? How can an organisation like the SPLM/A, that is not founded upon principles of democracy, become the custodian and guardian of democracy, in an undemocratic region, saturated in offensive governance, under the control of tribal oligarchy?
The President of the RoSS quote above ended by proclaiming the glory of self-determination and such like. I have to be perfectly clear here, like in many more fora that, I support the decision of the peoples of South Sudan, in their free choice of secession from the rest of the Sudan, and the establishment of sovereign Republic of South Sudan. However, can the exercise of self-determination, as external self-determination, as in our case in South Sudan, positively change a human society like our own?
There are many difficult questions which, we must ask ourselves, and see if, the SPLM/A lead government in South Sudan; can answer such questions, positively, in the best interests of the peoples of South Sudan. For example, is the South Sudan socially, culturally, financially, politically, technologically, morally, militarily, and generally underdeveloped, right now; because it was within a hitherto united Sudan?
On the other hand, is the secession of South Sudan from the rest of the Sudan, the missing link in terms of general development, and advancement of South Sudan? Was the unity of South Sudan, to the rest of the Sudan, the cause of universal inter and intra tribal fights, in South Sudan? Was the unity of South Sudan, to the rest of the Sudan, the cause for rampant corruption in South Sudanese political and administrative institutions? Was the unity of the South Sudan, to the rest of the Sudan, the cause for tribalism, ethnicity, and nepotism in South? See you in (part 7).