Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hon. Atem Garang de Kuek is a man of the people

By Pal Chol Nyan

Former SPLM Chief Whip, Atem Garang de Kuek
Photo: SBS Dinka Radio
My senior colleague, Michael Koma, wrote an impressive and a touching article titled in the Dawn Newspaper: "Rebel MPs Except Honourable Atem Garang." De Kuek spoke his mind against the move by SPLM lawmakers to top up their salaries, a move rejected outright by Hon. Atem Garang, the former  Chair of the SPLM Caucus and the Chief Whip, prompting him to quit his position.

When he felt let down by his own caucus, he tendered in his resignation, which was accepted with the announcement of his successor. Hon. Atem 's argument makes a lot of sense, which to his self-seeking colleagues is a backstabbing move simply because he wants the salaries of the civil servants, the army and other organised forces increased to cope with the prevailing economic hardships. He thought he was going to win the support of his colleagues but he got disappointed.

Hon. Atem did not do anything wrong. He is a true patriot whose concern is the welfare of his people more than his belly. If that is his mistake, then he has our support as people who are subjected to abject poverty by their own leaders. Ustaz Atem Garang has glittering leadership qualities and that made him win the election by acclamation in 2010. It doesn't have to  defeat us that a member of parliament represents his people, the constituency who elected him.

Once in office, the electorates expect services but in our case, the parliamentary and the executive positions have become sources for self-enrichment and the impoverishment of the citizens by our leaders. 

Honourable MPs, you have betrayed your colleague, Hon. Atem Garang de Kuek. You wrongly believed that Hon. Atem was stirring up the situation or inciting the people, but in reality, he was defending the president because he doesn't want his people to feel bad about him and his rule. The parliament is not a place to make money; it is for legislating the laws that govern the country. If you don't raise motions to discuss bills and pass laws to empower the president, then there must be something to attract the attention of the owls or security in plain term. It is so embarrassing that the MPs failed to deliver on the promises they made during their election campaigns. 

The president needs to stay awake. There may be hidden forces at work. The father would not feel good once he has eaten and the kids are hungry. The same is applicable to the lawmakers; their job is to fight for the rights and interests of the citizens. If they don't do that, they deserve to have a vote of no confidence passed. It goes without saying that our country is let down by those who make themselves puppets and  don't speak in public but behind the scene to protect their positions. 

Get prepared. The president decided to meet his brother and an arch-rival, Dr. Riek Machar,  for a handshake. This means peace is in the offing. It should not be tampered with.

The author is an independent opinion writer and stands where the truth is deemed bitter. He is also a medical practitioner in South Sudan.  
Email: palcholnyan2016

Editor's Note: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author not The Philosophical Refugee Site.

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