Saturday, July 27, 2013

Whimsical Decision Making and a Dysfunctional Political Party

By Kuir Garang (Website Editor)


Dr. John Garang and Mr. Salva Kiir
I was never a fan of late Dr. John Garang but, on principle, I admired one quality in him: extensive reading and autodidactic attitude. Comfortingly enough, he read and referenced issues and facts he postulated and argued for or about. This is a quality, among other things, officials in Juba should adopt. SPLM and the GOSS should also know that any institution is governed by behavioral and information dissemination protocols. People should not talk anyhow…or because they ‘feel’ it’s right. It might feel right but facts might go contrary to that feel-good-ness.
Face value application (or violation) of the constitution and out of context utterance of statements such as ‘it’s a normal democratic process’ don’t do justice to the already jittery nation. We still have an unconstitutional governor in Lake State and the president knows that’s a clear violation of the constitution’s sixty-day (60) requirement. Taban Deng Gai was removed unconstitutionally because we know there is no crisis in Unity State.

What the president and South Sudanese need to realize is that section (101r) doesn’t only say there just has to be a crisis in the state. The crisis has to be one threatening ‘national security and territorial Integrity’. If the crisis is not threatening national security then citing such a crisis becomes unconstitutional. Jonglei State is the state whose crisis is threatening national security and territorial integrity but the governor is still there.
The president’s actions are just whimsical rather than constitutional!

The onus in on the president to, therefore, explain how the ‘crisis’, if any, in the Lake State or Unity State, threaten our ‘national security and territorial integrity’. In essence, the president is ruling a nation of people not a nation of cows. People need to know. Abdon Agau, the government secretary-general told the media that president Kiir can fire the cabinet by giving any reasons; arguing that it’s his ‘constitution right’ not to give explanations! What? It’s supposed to be a ‘national constitution’ not ‘whimsical presidential constitution.’
Mr. President should know that he’s a servant of South Sudanese, not their boss. He’s only the boss of his cabinet; not South Sudanese. Ideally, the president has to justify his actions to the South Sudanese people because his decisions directly affect the average citizen. Make no mistake, president Kiir should account to US as South Sudan. We employed him not the other way round.

Officials like the always-in-your-face Marial Benjamin (while I know he has improved lately) have the knack of talking without checking their facts. This is indeed scary for South Sudan’s future. Besides, both the SPLM and the government of South Sudan don’t adhere to functionality protocols. This is the source of the problem within SPLM.
There’s nothing ‘democratic’ about firing a cabinet. Just because something is constitutional doesn’t mean it’s democratic. Actions of individuals can’t be called democratic even if they are clearly constitutional. Constitutional actions are necessary undemocratic decisions within a democracy. Not all decisions within a democracy are democratic. This is the culture of talking anyhow.

Both Pagan Amum and Riek Machar should know that belonging to an organization requires adhering to organizational protocols and internal avenues of problem-solving. Disagreements within a political party are normal, however, these disagreements should be solved behind closed doors. If you can’t solve internal issues behind closed doors then maybe belonging to one political party isn’t such a good idea. Publicly criticizing your own political party and the president as a senior party official is wrong…it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world.
And how naïve would someone criticize the boss, tells the boss ‘I want your job’ and expects the boss to say ‘go ahead, take my job…you are a great man!’ I don’t know which world Riek Machar is living in. What he’s saying regarding the country is admittedly the general truth; that the country is off the cliff and something has to change to salvage it, however, this doesn’t mean entering into the culture of ‘care-free-ness.’ An able leader would seek helpful ways of solving problems. You don’t get to criticize your boss, an uncritical boss for that matter, and get to keep your job. What were you smoking, Mr. Machar? Ambition intoxication?

In the end, the president needs to justify his actions, follow the constitution and let his officials know that talking to the media should be bound by party or government protocols; and that facts have to be researched and appropriately referenced for the government to have some respect in the eyes of South Sudan.

@kuirthiy

ON CULTURAL IDENTITY & BELONGING

Dear Melbournians, the South Sudanese people to be precise. Do you think we have seen it all? Do you think we have seen that: I mean in the aftermath of yesteryears, in regard to our culture and the notions around identity and belonging? Do you think we have seen the true reaping of what we sowed years ago? Do you really think so? After all, did we really sow anything like seeds and that there’s something to be reaped? Did we really live it out well to be seen today?

I am sorry to have bothered you, my potential readers, with questions regarding our social, economic, and political location in our host society: Australia. I think we have not seen it all and as a whole: The idea that people are bound by certain values and beliefs of significance to them. This requires cooperation and role-specific obligations on the roles of every man and woman across a given people and their society.

TOLERANCE & INCLUSION


While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.

Transformational Leadership, Inclusive Institutions and Service Provision

Leadership, given what is happening now in South Sudan, and generally in Africa, fascinates me. And it fascinates me not in a good way but because of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ills facing the African continent and most of the so-called 'Third World.' To me, South Sudan, now, is a classic case.

Rebellion by disaffected politico-military leaders and repression by the government of South Sudan in Juba have stunted institutional development and leadership growth. This has made service provision almost irrelevant as political survival has taken primacy and supremacy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

‘Black’ as an Identity Oversimplification and Mockery

Black as a universalized cultural identity of the African Person (AP)* is a residual effect of slave and colonial mentality; a racial/race paradigm. It is a malady I call, conservatively speaking, stuck-in-the-past syndrome of color constraints. Black could be an on-the-street ‘social identifier’ of race figures not a meaningful phenomenon of deep cultural identification on a universal scale.