I, President Kiir, Seek a Protégé
Typed by: Tearz Ayuen
I President Salva Kiir Mayardit must say enough is enough. It’s about time I do the right thing – get out of the way. I will explain that shortly. First of all, know that I am speaking to you in this piece as a citizen. Forget about the Lt. General in me. Don’t even think about my position as the President. This is the real me, the son of a Fishing Spear – Salva Kiir Mayardit, Kuethpiny.
Yes I have to edge out of the way, along with my comrades. The spirit of a true soldier, a freedom fighter, has finally dawned on me. When I joined the liberation struggle over three decades ago, I did it for the right cause. I wanted South Sudanese to be whatever they wanted to be – Christians, Moslems, Buddhists or even devil-worshippers.
I was up against the systematic abuses meted out against them by the successive suppressive Khartoum governments. I fought day and night. Unlike some of my peers, I never looked back. Bush was my home, for years. Alongside my fellow freedom fighters, I fought fearlessly, tirelessly.
Yet I expected nothing in return. My actions were all sacrificial. So were my comrades’. We never dreamt about salaries. We never expected things like V-8s. We never thought about the lavish lifestyle we are living right now.
We never wanted to be rulers after the war. No, that was not part of our plan. I didn’t want to be a payam administrator, leave alone being a president.
As you may know, not everything goes according to plan. I am the President of South Sudan by default. I never wished to lead. The seat issue caught me off-guard. John Garang’s death created a power vacuum. With the Generals choking with power-greed, a controversy arose over the throne. Every high-ranking SPLA official, except me, wanted to be the one.
But as fate would have it, the volatile region wanted a cool, calm and humble leader. Southern Sudan wanted a peace-maker leader. This made some influential but wise Generals force me onto the throne.
The decisions I have made, the actions I have taken for the last eight and half years proved those generals right. President Bashir has tried and is still trying harder to make me wage war against his country, in vain, simply because of my cool nature. I simply brush off his war-provoking actions and statements.
Some of my peers have tried to sow seeds of discord amongst South Sudanese citizens but because of the cool me, I break the backbone of the divisiveness by doing what I am not going to tell you in this write up.
I have been called names by everyone including children. Boys and girls post insulting and defamatory articles about me on the internet. But I take it easy. All I say is: Lord, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.
Even my comrades, those whom I suffered with in the bush unwittingly took up arms against my administration and ironically butchered the same people they liberated. I liken them to a father who fathers five children and wakes up one morning to slaughter them.
This unnecessary armed opposition is clearly meant to taint the image of my young government.
Others, the ones I entrusted with my powers, those I thought would assist me raise South Sudan to the world standards have shamelessly ungratefully institutionalized bad governance. They steal public funds. They like money but shun work. Everyone wants to fly to Nairobi, Dubai or Europe for flu treatment.
As a result, I have decided to rid the government of the freedom fighters turned looters. Yes I am decided. I want to replace them with vibrant youth. Youth because my generation does not fit in this era, particularly governing. These are modern times. All world governments have gone digital, technological. This, itself, disqualifies us.
Just drop by the Ministries. Visit the Immigration department in Juba-dit. The old men have been chased away by the new technology. They can’t handle any work involving computers. Young people have taken over. All the old ones do is sign documents.
This rings a bell. Corruption, ineptness and technological incapacitation are enough reasons to retire my age mates.
This is how we will go about it: South Sudanese youth all over the world must converge to bring their representative. The young person must be a highly educated one. He must be strictly between the ages of 30 and 35, someone who is eloquent, exposed, humble, honest, detribalized and preferably a non-Dinka.
He or she must be conversant with the political, social and economic affairs of South Sudan, both the past and the present. More importantly, he mustn’t be an SPLM supporter. A teetotaler too.
This is because a 30-year old is too young to have relationships with the corrupt old guys. The same with the ruling party; SPLM means impunity, corruption. If he or she comes from the SPLM, old bad guys will always want to stick their noses into his affairs in many ways.
I believe in meritocracy but I strongly believe that a non-Dinka would play a vital role in national healing process. Don’t get me wrong. A non-Dinka president would heal the scariest wounds of the past which seem to dog the present.
One of them is the born-to-rule adage. I often hear about it. Since the agents of divide have successfully drummed it into the heads of many South Sudanese, mostly the semi-literates, I believe helping an Acholi, a Bari, a Lokorong, a Balanda or an Anyuak become the next president would nullify such a bad politics.
Another wound is: people always say that the Dinka people always say they will run the country until the end of time just because they sacrificed a lot during the civil war – that they died in big numbers- millions, and now is the payback time. I think it is not true. It is meant to indoctrinate the Dinka against the other tribes. Bringing up a Madi or a Jur Beli would put such people to shame.
Why a teetotaler? – A drunken head of state is susceptible to numerous grave mistakes. Bad people, mostly his or her relatives or friends, tend to lure him into signing dubious documents under the influence of alcohol. I am not speaking from experience but that is a fact, a proven one.
With the 2015 general elections in mind, I will work with the young candidate. I will help the young man or woman found a political party to contest against the frail SPLM. And I am counting on the youth to campaign for the new party and vote overwhelmingly for him or her.
If he or she wins and of course it must, youth will also help appoint qualified South Sudanese as members of his cabinet.
If the ‘baby’ president wishes, some of us, very few, will remain in the government but as advisors only.
I know Vice President Riek is itching to be the next president but don’t worry about him. I will convince him. I will talk him out of the whole idea. I also acknowledge how hard, almost impossible for him to stand down but still, there is nothing impossible.
He himself should know without being told that to be the second most powerful man in the land is itself enough to go for the last top place. We’re two faces of the same coin. If I’ve failed, he has failed. If I have achieved something, he also has.
In fact, he has handled a number of national issues a lot more than I have. If he still itches to lead, then pride must be the only force driving his quest – pride and prestige, the things South Sudan does not need right now.
So, my dearest youth, find me a young person that fits in the above descriptions. You have a couple of months.