Thursday, January 12, 2017

IT'S TIME FOR PRESIDENT KIIR TO CALL IT QUIT


South Sudanese president
Given the fact that nothing has changed for the last ten years in terms of development, social cohesion and service provision, I think it’s time for President Kiir to call it quit. This is undoubtedly the best course of action to take. While I understand that the president hopes to leave behind a good, lasting legacy, it sure seems that such a legacy will not be forthcoming. There’s absolutely no indication that President Kiir will change the country for better. This results from the incongruence between the president’s words and his actions. The president has, in some occasions, uttered nationally helpful words but does the wrong thing.

However, we need to remember that President Kiir has one enduring achievement that will remain in historical books forever. This is the 2011 referendum and succession of South Sudan. While Dr. John was the architect of the process leading to succession of South Sudan through his negotiation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), it’s President Kiir who actually made sure that it materialized. National Congress Party (NCP) of President Beshir of Sudan--formerly National Islamic Front (NIF)--were vent on killing the referendum.

Another possible good legacy of President Kiir would be his peaceful transfer of power. This would ensure that he goes down in history as one of the few African leaders who’ve peacefully handed over power to a successor. No doubt, this is only possible if President Kiir perceives leadership as geared towards the interest of the people of South Sudan not leadership for its own sake. Essentially, African leaders talk of leadership 'in the service of the people' but most African leaderships are set up  against the interest of the people.


These two realities would go down in history as President Kiir’s greatest achievements. But isn’t this mere utopianism? Isn’t this wishful thinking? Most likely! And not everyone would like this message.

However, I should remind readers that President Kiir has always been projected as a humble man and leader. His humility, sadly, has been appropriated for very destructive purposes. But isn’t it time for the president to show an iota of care? This is only possible if he ever cared at all! But handing over power to someone he chooses wouldn’t be so scary to the president and this trusted inner circle. It’s possible for the president to call his party, SPLM, to meet and name a successor. This is very imperative!

But some people would that if a leader the president chooses becomes president, then the status quo would remain. True! And I agree with that sentiment. However, a change in leadership would change the national psychology. Even if it might not lead, necessarily, to fundamental change and peace, it would still send a signal that the leadership was handed over peacefully and that such a peaceful political and democratic culture would continue.

Violent removal of leaders creates unbecoming and dangerous precedents. A leader who ascends to power by force is most likely to leave power by force. A culture of military conflicts isn’t good for the national health. Besides, a sudden change in leadership without any clear successor creates a political vacuum and power struggle. This is why it’s crucial for the president to choose his own successor before the elections.

I’m therefore calling on the president to consider leaving power after having secured a successor he’s comfortable with. While this might not amount to change in terms of systemic problems facing the country, it would be CHANGE nonetheless.

President Kiir is not only a veteran of the SPLA liberation war, he’ll go down in history as the one who withstood NCP bullying in order to ensure the success of the referendum and the succession of South Sudan. A peaceful transfer of power, as I said earlier, would be another milestone achievement.

The President is also getting old and in ill-health. It’s time for him to go and rest. Let someone else lead with different lenses. This might not be fundamentally different lenses but that'll be different lenses nonetheless.



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.