BY Johnson Makuac Makur
Lakes State is a place in deep chaos. The problems of Lakes State are just too many. Revenge killings, road ambushes and cattle raiding have become synonymous with daily life and the news of death is all around. But the worst about it all is that leadership is just as bad as the rogue criminals that are terrorizing the State.
From the first day the Governor of Lakes State, Matur Chut Dhuol declared himself “the Governor, the police, the commissioner, the law maker, and the chief,” it was imminent that we would come this far: a near total collapse.
Under the current Governor the insecurity in Lakes State has just kept deteriorating and the Governor continues to add fuel with his usual insults, abuses, rude unconstitutional orders…and so much more.
The Jieng National Council of Elders has been conducting long meetings in Juba in an effort to find solutions to Lakes’ problems. But what these elders and any other person need to know is that the Governor of Lakes State is one of the problems in the State.
If you count the problems of Lakes State then never forget to include the Governor.
The Lakes State representatives both in the National Legislature and the State Assembly concur altogether that the first thing that should be done about the situation of Lakes State is addressing the question of the State Leadership.
The civil society, chiefs, youths and women equally echo the same plea. This appeal has been made many months ago and it was seriously given a thrust by the resolution of the national assembly for the removal of the Governor.
The buck now stops with the President of the republic of South Sudan. The President should seriously consider acting now upon that resolution by putting into use one more time article 101 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.
The President should note that he is not doing that for the National Assembly but for us the common people on ground in Lakes State. We have given many reasons all along why we want Matur sacked but still I can offer even more:–
First, the Caretaker has allowed himself to be in the mix of all crises of the State. His public statements and actions have appeared to incline to support some warring clans over others. That he is an Agaar whose relatives have disputes adds weight to suspicion that he is not all free of the state crisis.
Matur now stays dangling between clans and it is alleged that he is receiving bribes of cattle from clans so as not to be harsh with them. Is it why there have been no arrests of culprits? No one knows.
But generally, as stated by the National Minister of Defense in his address to the National Parliament, the Governor has lost the trust of the people. New wine, new glass!
To embark on the solutions to Lakes State problems, there first must be a new Governor who should start on a new slate. All the other things would then follow.
Secondly, under the current caretaker Governor the rule of law has fallen to its lowest point. Cases are never tried. Police is not free to do its work. Those jailed for murder cases are released under the orders of Commissioners and the governor himself.
Instead, it’s innocent people and relatives of the culprits paying so heavily. I attended a rule of law workshop in Rumbek and I was amazed this issue of Governor and commissioners’ interference was raised by Head of Prisons management, the Deputy Police Commissioner and a member of the High Court in the State.
In a case of Kok clashes, it is believed that one of the murderers who is at large up to today was first arrested but the Governor was convinced to let him out since he was an in-law to the Governor’s family. There are so many cases of this same nature. This led to people not handing over the crime suspects.
The third reason is that the Caretaker Governor has killed all the important institutions in the State. One of these is the State legislative Assembly. Matur makes his own laws out of the Assembly. Any initiative by the Assembly is frustrated and brought down by him.
In one of the instances, a committee for peace and reconciliation led by Hon. Malek Machut was frustrated to an extent that they were not allowed to meet chiefs. Instead, the Governor convened the spear masters to conduct rituals in Akonbuoi. The result was all out clashes across the whole Agaar and Gok within same week.
The fourth reason is all about the chiefs salaries. The payment of chiefs salaries was stopped from the moment the Caretaker Governor took office. This has slowed the commitment of chiefs and has equally wounded the cooperation between chiefs who are the custodians of the people and the government.
Chiefs’ salaries have always been contained in the budgets passed by the State Assembly under the Ministry of Local Government. Why they don’t get their money only Matur knows.
Fifth reason; the Caretaker Governor has sidelined the SPLM office in the state. Yet, this is the right office from which his policies are supposed to be scrutinized and improved to meet the public demands before they are implemented.
Leave alone a question of cooperation with SPLM; he instead leads one of his own. Those in the SPLM office who do not listen to him are told to stay in Rumbek at their own risk.
The sixth reason is that the character of Gen. Matur Chut as a Governor does not marry up with an identity of a solemn leader. He is applying very harsh laws that are not workable. He does not know that harsh laws make harsh people.
His Langcok prison was a failure. His Arms Control Law passed by the State Assembly was broken within one week by not any other person, but him.
He registered arms within one month, collected people’s money as registration fees for arms and within same month he collected the guns back and refused the people’s money.
Seventh, apart from the fact that the Governor is illiterate, he also possesses no single quality of leadership. He is not calm. He does not listen. He does not contemplate on issues. He does not analyze. He is simply too full of himself.
His nature of throwing insults cannot convince any Dinka community to accept his leadership. Dinka people are never led with an iron fist. To do that makes them even more aggressive and arrogant. What you need is simply the rule of law– fair and free for all. Period!
The eighth reason; the Caretaker Governor has not laid down any system of Governance at all since he took over the leadership of the State. He runs the State without any policy. In the modern day leadership, you cannot wake up each morning and be driven looking for what to do, rather you need to plan and design what you want to do and what direction you want the State to take.
The Caretaker Governor does not have any single security policy for Lakes State.
The ninth reason; the Caretaker Governor of Lakes State is a champion of corruption and nepotism. All the State institutions do not get their Capital and Operation Costs.
The two construction projects – the fence around Freedom Square and the Secretariat General – cannot be the reason millions are taken every month. Funds used for development must equate to what is being done. The money of the poor university students that were officially released for studies – 474 of them – is being taken every month.
The discontent has grown against the government as a result and cooperation became another victim within the institutions he leads.
The tenth reason is the 2015 General Elections. With elections said to be held in April next year, there will be a reason to fear that SPLM may be in serious shambles. President Salva Kiir has visited Rumbek two times this year.
If the President did not use the opportunity to smell the coffee and read the mood of the people of Lakes State, then he should order for the minutes of the two day meeting held in Nyakuron by Jieng National Council of Elders with Lakes communities.
Maybe that can be the last avenue from which the President might get the proper knowledge about what is happening in Lakes and all the justifications why Matur Chut should go.
It is true the President may pass elections without Lakes voters, but it will pain and kill pride in people like me that it is our State that leads the shame, simply something so small was not done: removing the Governor.
The President may not know the people of Lakes State very well, but he knows Matur Chut. He knows his stories in the army. He was one of the generals upon whom soldiers celebrated by shooting in the air when they heard that he was taken to the reserve list. Behold, this was going to be the burden of Lakes State people.
On several occasions the President acknowledged that “Matur Chut does not listen”. Yes, Matur Chut does not listen to anybody. Now the President should also listen and act fast by removing the Caretaker Governor.
If he heeds not to people’s call then we shall have the Caretaker Governor who does not listen, the President who does not listen and the people who will never listen. So, let’s listen!
Johnson Makuac Makur is a South Sudanese citizen. He works in Lakes State. He can be reached at email@example.com
By Kur Wel Kur
Our journey from Torit to Palotaka through Magwi, took us 8 hours; the road almost unnavigable as roads at Kathmandu in Nepal especially between Obbo and Palotaka. In our presence, Mr. Kuol Manyang warned the drivers about the roads; “I don’t mind when you reach the destination, 2 or 3 days after but drive them home safe” he added!
Mr. Kuol had executed many dangerous orders and his strict and fierce supervision instilled fears in the hearts of many including us but seeing him so concerned about our safety in that particular time whispered otherwise to us, about the man whom critics described as a man without feelings! In doubts about drivers, Mr. Kuol took his orders into his own hands so he ordered his driver to lead the way in a desirable speed limit and the trucks with the boys behind. To ensure our safety, for every ephemeral river that crossed the road, he ordered us to disembark so the trucks would cross them empty
His watchful eyes observed every move about the kids because the future of the country or the very existence of the course -a search for equality and justice or a country_ lied in their hands. “The decision of congregating the kids in two places: Pinyudu and Palotaka, might succeed or fail. If it fails, then our course perishes and if God guides this decision, through them kids, we will have our future, a country!” His mind explored
God exists! Sorry to my atheist readers, but I have to confess to confirm a prophecy scripted in 2714 years ago by Isaiah. Though the chapter revealed nothing specific about South Sudanese, which makes it everybody’s prophecy. In April 19, 2005, Bob Westbrook, a Christian and Zionist, claimed that the prophecy is about Christians and Jews in US and so do the Ethiopians because some versions of the bible used the Ethiopia to mean Cush or Sudan! However, I selfishly or knowledgeably place it on the South Sudan:
“…from a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide….” (Isaiah 18:7 RSV).
Disregard our current state (situation) don’t capitalise on it because our State (country) is still in God’s workshop.
Feared translates understood or respected, with these translations in mind, the prophecy sits squarely on lost boys especially those who arrived in States(USA) because they sold the suffering within South Sudan to the world. The story hit headlines so a marine biologist studying penguins or drilling beneath the ice to study the impacts of climate change in Antarctica, reads the lost boys’ story! With all those unthinkable lost boys’ experiences and their thriving success in high pressure jobs in one hand and universities’ assignments, which starve the brains in the other, stunned the Americans.
The Americans cannot believe the resiliency of the humans’ souls. They respected and understood the lost boys (the representatives or ambassadors of South Sudan). The reason behind this resiliency is what you’re about to learn in this article and others to come!
Arriving in Palotaka at around 11pm, Mr. Kuol Manyang ordered the distribution of blankets; Palotaka is fortified by the Viewpoint Mountains in the east and the farthest mountains of Talanga that sends the snaking river to quench Palotaka land and vegetation. Palotaka was icy cold! Shivering uncontrollably, our teeth rattled helplessly.
Palotaka greeted us with void; a place where many painted their future on papers, stood in ruins, classrooms’ and dormitories’ doors snapped off, the cemented floors in the buildings cracked so the wind airlifted the soil with weeds seeds into the cracks; the grass grew tall on windows and in some corners of classrooms and dormitories. A ghost town for sometimes, God knew how long!
Ready to fumble our ways to sleep, the guardians made a daring announcement. “You’re in the heart of hearts of witchcraft so if you go dropping in the bush, your waste will follow you back; you and your colleagues will be forced to clean it with bare hands for a proper disposal! ” so don’t do it please.” they stressed. They feared a repetition of the Mission’s incidence (littering the place with faeces)
we made our ways to sleep. Early the following morning, we couldn’t believe our eyes; the giant grasses or called them, the elephant’s grasses, towered over us. The dew not dripped but pouring as rain does! In a terrible cold, but we had to clear the grasses around our houses, the least snakes and spiders wiggled or crawled their ways to the houses for bites.
No tools but sticks and fire, we would beat the grasses and then set them on fire after a day, though still green after battered down, about 60% of their water evaporated so they burned in a slow motion. Green grasses with blades as equalled as samurai’s sword sliced us; all those bacteria, which the grasses harboured, entered our bodies so scabies and other skin diseases increased by 50%.
As we settled in the routines of learning lives’ valuable lessons, the guardians, SPLM/A trained 0fficers started installing the determination and the art of hard work in us by forcing us to work for them and ourselves. The UN brought the tools and tractors, so we started to toil the land so all the big trees in the field were reduced to stumps, which we uprooted in a week and we sowed corns, peanuts, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and elephant’s eggplants. In the middle of 1991, (the second Palotaka boys) the boys from Duk county and those of Twi East county arrived and occupied group four and five respectively.
Three months after, the third group (boys from the Nuba Mountains; out of 99 tribes, only three tribes sent the boys to Palotaka. Imagine the distance of South Kordofan in South Sudan’s border with North Sudan and Palotaka in the border of South Sudan and Uganda, the ( 800 ) boys covered unimaginable distance. Their food supply not enough, they malnourished to a gravely state. They occupied group six, seven and eight. The final groups, 9 and 10 belonged to remnants of Pinyudu, those who decided to head to Torit and then to Palotaka instead of crossing the border to Lokkichioggio, Kenya.
And those whom the boys from Moli Tokoro and Borongoli left behind because some of them suffered from parasites such as jiggers and guinea worms and those who couldn’t afford to trek to Natinga (Kabekenyang) because of general weaknesses. The eleventh group belonged to ’Ma-rek-rek ‘, so named because of the noise they made! Children from ages of six to nine years and some older (10 or 11) occupied this group.
All the boys, having arrived, the SPLM/A officers (teachers), commenced the discipline training; the officers would teach us liberation politics or force to compose liberation songs before we go to beds. We would wake up at 5:30 a.m. for attendance; some of us would cry or refuse to leave their beds but the correctional boys would whip them to the attendance square!
My people (readers), a mini military training! After the attendance, some of us would go to the “Akuma”(the government’s farm) or to teachers’ (officers’) farms around their houses. A practice, the officers called an ‘organised oppression’ or organised slavery if you wish to call it so!
Lookout for letters of Palotaka’s life: the benefits and disadvantages of organised oppression to both teachers and children, education, sicknesses and parasites, corrected mistake, and the reason of establishing the camps (one within South Sudan and the other in Ethiopia).
Jok Mabior, Australia
The recent circular from South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource that outlined a labour policy has raised eyebrows, even garnered fury with some people. Indeed, it prompted what used to be a refutable news outlet, the NTV Kenya, to brand South Sudanese “Thankless kids”. Another Kenyan journalist exaggeratedly likened the policy to Idi Amin’s expulsion of Asians and Indians from Uganda in 1972.
The fact that the policy has existed for a long time and the breadth of the coverage of the new policy would make one understand why it has engendered such feelings from our neighbours. As a matter of fact, the government should not have expected that it would be all smiles after it came up with this policy change.
If you have been offering food to someone for a long time, they will think something is really wrong with you when you abruptly ceased to do that. Thus, the government should have explained the justification for the policy change, even when it is too obvious.
However, one would strain his or her nerves to understand why Kenyans always react the way they do to events pertaining the interest of their fellow citizens in South Sudan. Their favourite reaction is always a comical name calling that South Sudanese are being blacker than they are—literally, a kettle calling a pot black.
The other one is always an emotional call for retaliatory measures. Indeed, the fact that there are thousands of South Sudanese residing and studying in Kenya is always pointed out. One thing suffices to be said about this. Those South Sudanese who are residing or studying in Kenya are spending their money in Kenya—paying for rents, food and education. It is another life tube for the economies of Kenya and Uganda.
So, expelling South Sudan’s citizens would not hurt South Sudanese the way it would to these countries (i.e., if established that resending and studying of South Sudanese in these countries was a quid pro quo for their citizens’ working in their South Sudan).
The fact that South Sudan had received help from these neighbouring countries in the past has entered into the psyches of some citizens of these countries. They fail to find any rational argument whenever they felt aggrieved by actions of South Sudanese authorities.
These people juvenilely argue that South Sudan must always respect and protect their interests at the expense of its own, simply because their countries hosted (continue to do so) South Sudanese during their struggles. The fact Kenya midwifed peace agreement that led to independence of the country is never missed.
To be fair, South Sudan’s neighbours have helped her in one way or the other. Some hosted our refugees and while others offered us political and military assistance. Although some people have unpleasant experiences, South Sudan as country is always grateful for that.
The third response is the fact that South Sudan aspires to join East African Community (the EAC) and applied for to join. Those who are dissatisfied with the new policy argue that there should not be restrictions on the employment of their fellow citizens. First, EAC has not yet integrated and treat fellow citizens equally.
Indeed, their countries which are already members of the Community do have this open door labour policy. In this regard, South Sudan is not alone. Second, this is not required for joining the EAC. Thirdly, if joining the EAC have to be at the expense of South Sudanese, it would be easy for South Sudanese to say “to hell with EAC”.
Back to the complaint, does South Sudan have to permanently subordinate its interests and obligations to her citizens to show gratefulness? The simple answer is no.
The explanation of that answer is this. Every community, society or nation-state has a right to maximise the interests of its citizens. South Sudan, like any other country, has a primary obligation towards its citizens. This is the very reason for the state of South Sudan—protecting the best interests of its general populace. Its government has a mandate and a responsibility to make policy choices and regulations that best serve interests of the citizens.
This includes allowing foreign nationals to work in South Sudan in areas where local expertise is lacking and prefer the employment of locals where it is expedience to do so. However, South Sudan government has been a “no-show” in this endeavour since 2005. Understandably, there was few of confident south Sudanese to fill in those positions back then.
Sadly, this open door policy has been abused. The NGOs and big business corporations have used this unquestioned right to import workers outside the countries, and in most cases employing up to 100% foreigners as their staffers. The flawed argument is that there are no qualified South Sudanese for such positions.
However, the only way to find out whether there are no educated locals is by opening those jobs to them. If no one applies for such jobs, then the NGO’s and business companies are justified to hire outside the country.
The other justification is that South Sudanese are lazy. Uncritical and insulting as it seems, it is a deliberate ploy to keep South Sudanese away from those lucrative jobs. However, it is none starter. It is the same South Sudanese so described who want those jobs! Why complain?
Our neighbours need to enter the inside south Sudan’s skin to understand the necessity of this policy. Ordinary citizens have been crying out for the change. However, the status quo was maintained due to inactiveness of the policymakers.
Two factors necessitate the revision of labour policy in South Sudan. Let’s start from the obvious one. First, South Sudan economy that depends on oil has been badly affected by the ongoing senseless violence in the country. This has accentuated the unemployment situation in the country—awakening the government from its slumber-like complacency.
The second factor, and which depends on the first, is the level of youth unemployment in the country. There has been a steady increase in unemployment rate. This coincides with the return of educated South Sudanese from regional universities in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
They have no places in these countries since their governments are struggling with high unemployment rates among their youthful populations. However, all these years, South Sudan has been assisting neighbouring countries with keeping of their unemployment rates down while its own sky-rocketed.
Thus, Understandably, South Sudanese had to return home in droves, but only to find no jobs awaiting for them at home. The private sector and NGO’s jobs are the preserve the foreigners. At the same time, the public sector, which has overwhelmingly been the employer, had reached a saturation point long time ago.
Still, this has been aggravated by the fact that its sole source of revenue in the oil sectors is now operated below its expected capacity.
Should the government have turned a blind eye to this as it had done in the past? No! A prudent government must look for ways and means of alleviating this acute problem. In fact, the function of labour ministry is to minimise the impact of high influxes of foreign workers in its labour market.
Therefore, a current shift in labour policy is a good decision in a right direction. It might have come too late in the day, but better late than never.
However, some caveats have to be made about the circular. First, the language of the circular is an alarmist. It is tantamount to an ultimatum. Its language portrays it as a knee-jerk policy from someone who has been sleeping on the problem and has unjust woke up by an alarm bell tied to his or her door post.
A policy of this nature should have been carefully formulated and communicated in a manner that would minimise the misunderstanding that might ensue from it. Indeed, the policy should have a gradual process that would culminate in having certain percentage of NGO’s and corporations workers be given to South Sudanese.
Secondly, the NGO’s and business are equal stakeholders with the government in serving the people of South Sudan. The government needed to have consulted with these stakeholders. However, the nature of the circular—its language and presentation—suggests that little has been done by way of consultation with these stakeholders. It is a flaw that is noticeable.
Thirdly, the policy affects real people with real financial fears. As such, a person responsible for this policy needed to have realised that those positions they demanded to be given to South Sudan are being filled by people with families to feed— even when they are foreign nationals. Thus, it was irresponsible to put out a circular that demanded termination of these jobs overnight.
Having mentioned those caveats, should our neighbours feel aggrieved? Of course, they should. There is nothing wrong with their sense of entitlement, even though many South Sudanese may take exception to that. But, of course, that entitlement has to be regulated by the host government. Therefore pairing it with Amin’s expulsion of Indians from Uganda is a sensationist and over exaggerated characterisation of the policy.
Indeed, the reactions from the neighbours are unwarranted. There is nothing xenophobic about the policy. Nobody is being expelled from South Sudan as some journalists in Kenya and Uganda are irresponsibly portrayed in their slants.
This change of policy will bring South Sudan law policy in line with the practice in countries where employers have to seek work permits and to “show cause” why there is a need to hire staff outside the country. The existing practice where South Sudanese are simply overlooked is not sustainable given the circumstances.
Maintaining the status quo is not only in ignorant of the change on South Sudan’s labour market, it amounts to an insult to the citizens of South Sudan. Furthermore, preferring foreign workers over local people where there is no justification, as it is currently the case, is a gross injustice. A caring (or even an opportunistic one) government would see a reason for a policy change in this circumstances.
A policy change is warranted. The proposed policy will serve the interests of both foreign nationals as well as South Sudanese—making them both happy.
Leaving other factors constant for the National army to be more ethical because many things needs time to function systematically, I would only write on the “speed” you drive your cars on the streets of Juba.
BY KON Joseph LEEK
Our dear SPLA gallant forces, we appreciate your roles right from when you started emerging to present. You used to be too protective and defensive as well as being offensive to your enemies if their aim is to destroy us/you.
In the on-going crises we very much appreciate your roles for protecting civilians though there are complains raised by some institutions that you slips a little (those are the organizations who fail to understand what you are going through-they do not see the way we do), we do understand that you are doing your best for a new Nation faced by too many man-made calamities cannot just emerge suddenly like a GOST and become an “Heaven on Earth”.
Besides all these, there is one thing we civilians do not understand from you, the way you drive your cars on the streets of Juba, speed and the overtaking. Your cars’ speed is always too high and overtakes where it is not necessary to overtake and even driving on a wrong lane.
I believe your drivers are professionals, the way they control those speedy cars explains it but what confuse me is why there is a gross disrespect of traffic laws by our brothers, you, the SPLA. That always leaves our mostly women-fearful-and-less-committed-to-laws-traffic police stand aghast with huge failure to give solutions to what the military does on the streets.
Leaving them (traffic) with thousands creative ways of solving civilians and foreigners’ problems. To some extent, we applause their (traffic) roles while admiring and pity their innocence when they are dealing with the SPLA.
Another besides the above is, if it is your(the military) car knocking the civilian’s car, it is you (military) to hasten jump out of your car and begin to threaten us unless you give-in and calm your eyes that had been rubbed and fumed by resentment.
It is not of secret, we know our own SPLA, you are everywhere with us, if it is your car that has knocked ours (civilians) or our car knocking yours (because to you, it means the same), then we just know that Lord God, our/your father has forsaken you at the times you needed him most (that moment).
Since they are “hard nuts to crack”, their persuasion would not help at all though you kneel you would just be flinging yourself down in an unexciting submissive posture of a mere supplicant that would not help because it means nothing to them.
What can only help is to “show a clean pair of heels” because once we are at hand we just know that we have got “a sword of Damocles hanging on our (victim) heads” because few minutes after they are done with you and you got some magical powers to plant your eyes on someone else’ head and you have a view of yourself, believe me you would fail to recognize your own wrecked self.
It is worse when you are a little old or weak that you would be unable to speed away, from there you would be faced with two dangerous situations, each of which is to be dreaded as much as the other; that is between risking running on the road in the cars with your feet or getting yourself arrested by them (the army).
So our dear military brothers, you are making our lives very tough on the streets that if we see your car coming on that break-neck and intimidating speed, we hasten run out of the streets fearing our lives so that one do not end up trapped between the wheels of a military car.
In the past, those times when we were still in the bush (when SPLA was still a rebel), I can vividly remember that when your car comes, civilians would eventually know that they are saved because your cars used to be less speedy and were (earlier SPLA) respecting civilians a lot, something which has a little bit changed now (if that, am I not saddened by your driving).
I don’t know if it was because there were no tarmac roads then, that you want to recover the speed you might have lost in the past or that the military were more discipline in the past than now?
If yours is to scare us, then you do not need to scare us with life-threatening-tools/machines because we know that you are no alien to them (those things that kills) for you know how to carry them but it is important to know that civilians are not akin to that life-style.
You also know well that the military comes out of the civilians and upon retiring from the military; you join the civilians, in that it is better to observe your future relationship with the civilians. Who knows after having retired from the military you would want the civilians to elect you as their president or governor
Also, most of the military mistreating us do not live in the military quarters, they are staying in civilian homes with civilians, it is quiet creepy if you think that the civilian you live at home with is better than the one you meet on the street.
If you have a problem with civilians that drives on the roads then start with the one you are at home with, that is if they have one (car).
We are soon going to join the community of East Africa who are “millets of days” since they gained their independences, those ones who have learned from their mistakes, the coupés, economic depression, rebellion, tribalism among others and now fully stands with all their four legs. They are far much different from us if we are to compare our legs’ steadfastness with them.
Unfortunately, our legs’ steadfastness have been greatly reduced by the already-existing problems that we do not need someone to tell us (because we know them all), these banes that make our legs loss-balance, these horribles that have weaken our National legs due to lack of experience that results to these made-made calamities.
We can be qualified to guide our Nation, stabilize our economy but experience is another thing (for experience is not the same thing as qualification). How do we stand out in the East Africa community? Won’t they always be viewing us as amateurs? They won’t care whether we are 9000 days since we were born, they will only care that we are another Nation like them and so with our speedy military cars, won’t it be a little set back in that community (leaving other factors constant !)
Our military has been driving like this even before 15th Dec 2013; we expect our military to be driving with care on the streets and to only speed in case of emergency such that we also know the different between when they are speeding and when they are not and it will also help us to differentiate when there is emergency and when there is not.
We want our military to also know that military is a profession of which if you are in its uniform, you are not viewed as an individual by the civilians but as a Nation hence if it is a military man in his full uniform intimidating the civilian then we shall view you as a Nation directly mistreating its own citizen.
You do not need to treat us like your enemies; we are friends, real friends. We do not have any beep between us but you want to make us believe what is not true for doing to us what is so unfortunate of you to do to us. We love you guys only that there is nothing we can do to you to show that we really love you and you are as well too busy to realize that we love you.
We want you to be a military if one glance at, you feel agitated to join.
I once went to Bilpam military head quarters to bank from there at Equity bank and made my own observation of the military of how you drive but I really saw the opposite of what you do on the roads of Juba, I guess you do that (slowly drive) to let your seniors see that you are indeed discipline.
Can you please bring that Bilpam-driving style to Juba roads without the orders from your bosses, the generals but from me, a civilian?!
It is not of recent that we saw this (bad driving) from the SPLA, the present has been there right from the start only that we were either too busy to notice or too blind to see and now that we can see/or if times come, I urge you to curve your driving style a little to the moderate one for I know that being busy is never given a leave for you to adjust yourself (you can adjust yourself while busy).
We want you to be our best friends and defenders to respect and love not our worse defenders to fear and despise.
The writer is a South Sudanese journalist living in Juba and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
By Sabbath de Yecouba, forwarded by Wenne Madyt Dengs
Countries learn from each other. I have learnt that foreigners don’t work in another foreign country lest they are citizens of that country too. Dual citizenship for that matter. I was taken aback by it the first time I came to South Sudan. I was not taken aback by the presence of foreigners in South Sudan. I didn’t dispute that.
I disputed the employment of foreigners in leadership positions countrywide. I have been conversant with the situation that I lived in, in the country I grew up in. I was aware of the fact that a foreigner cannot run a business leave alone being employed.
I had struggled to work in Nairobi with an international company called forever living products. My manager ran away with my money up to date. Other South Sudanese who ran businesses ended up having their money stolen by the closest friends they employed to help them out of discrimination. What am I talking about?
While I studied in a foreign country, I didn’t see an occasion where my Kenyan classmate defeated me in my class. I wonder where such foreigners get such expertise that betters them off than us. A friend who is a journalist has written this status on her Facebook wall already. I highlighted earlier in other articles that I wrote that South Sudanese don’t believe in themselves. They think that foreigners are better.
A citizen has several advantages when he works in his own country. A foreigner will work for personal gain. He will be less concerned about the betterment of the foreign country he works in. A citizen will work for money but also endeavors to improve the living standards of his fellow citizens.
This is what South Sudanese have lacked over a couple of years. This should be the right time to make it happen that a wider opportunity is opened for the qualified citizens who toil to earn a living while qualified. Only the citizens of South Sudan will bring development to a broader spectrum.
I personally feel that we have fears as a country. We fear where our oil will be exported because we are a landlocked country. This might have been why foreigners were retained. We fear where we shall get commodities from. Who is benefiting from the imported commodities? South Sudanese aren’t.
They are those foreign countries which did give South Sudanese oppressive hands. They get taxes at the borderline. Their commodities are brought into this country and the food prices hit the roof. Who has benefited and who has been affected?
South Sudanese who live and study in foreign countries pay rent and electricity. They are scared by too high prices of the land and lease. They pay high school fees. All those aforesaid yet they don’t work in such countries or run businesses. Who has benefited there and who has been affected? Honestly, why should we be scared by actions taken in our presence in those countries?
If South Sudanese are chased in those neighboring countries, don’t we have a land to settle them in? Can’t we offer them enough jobs? If at all commodities will not be brought because we have stopped foreigners from working, can’t we cultivate like them?
How could we give into an excuse that there are activities that South Sudanese cannot perform. Where did they get that? I have learnt that most of the foreigners have big businesses. They come and employ their nationals. Take for example Eritreans. In all their hotels and lodges, only Eritreans work for them. Who owns this country now?
Foreign investors are welcomed into a country to invest and help the citizens of that country out of the employment problems. This might have been the reason why they were given such opportunities. But it has become unbecoming.
I have always seen leaflets along the road for traditional doctors who are said to be specialists in treating various diseases. I always take my leaflet. Do you know why? It is because that leaflet I have taken will not be used to cheat one person. I tear it or burn it.
This country was not liberated through witchcraft. It was liberated through the act of God. Such acts should be stopped. All the witch doctors should be deported in soonest time possible. They have a hand in the highest rates of crimes and insecurity. They should leave us in peace.
Foreigners should allow South Sudanese to enjoy their citizenship rights. This is all we are up to. It should be afoot now. Let us not be threatened by what affects our citizens. If so, the foreigners will always believe that they are better when literally they aren’t.
The writer is a Journalist, an artiste, a poet and an author of four fictional books (Betrayed: For Love, Born to write, mentored by a rebel and The Mysterious Ghost)
By Wenne Madyt Dengs (A poet and journalist)
I am your shield
I am the sole of your shoes
I am the cap that covers your bald head
I am the bed that carries your fatties
You fart and I have never held my nose
You have stopped thinking about my mother
My mother, my mother, my mother
She cries day to day
She is naked and thin-legged
Toothless and bottomless
She is still wearing CPA-aged underwear
My mother, my mother, my mother
She has become the residence of all maladies
I am hearing that she lives under the tree
Because you have branded all your built-ups with covetousness wording
That “NO TRESPASSING …!”
My mother, my mother, my mother
My eyes are dried
They are subjected to objectivity
Presuming to protect
Who is consuming your shares
Mother, I am still your son though I am at the sun!
Writer can be reached through: email@example.com