‘‘I want you to know that I will never compromise my political beliefs or betray the motherland, and that I will remain defiant throughout this tortuous journey’’ Professor Maina wa Kinyatti
By Eligo Dak Buoth, Nairobi, Kenya
December 4, 2016 (SSB) — Today last month, the 4th November 2016, the revered spokesperson James Gatdet Dak, my namesake was unlawfully repatriated to South Sudan where he could face detention, torture and abuses by vermin at the hands of the regime in Juba. Kenya told Associate press news Agency through her spokesperson Mr. Eric Kiraithe, ‘‘that James Gatdet Dak became an inadmissible person, so we cancelled his visa and he was taken back to his country of origin’’
JAMES GATDET DAK: A VICTIM VICTIMIZED
It is now a month long period since he was ejected from Nairobi. For the benefit of back-benchers who are not yet aware of what prompted James Gatdet Dak’s deportation, it was linked to a comment he wrote on his Facebook page concerning an emotive case between Kenya and United Nations (UN) where Mr. Ban Ki-moon relieved General Kimani Mogoa, the Kenyan force commander of the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) of his duties citing leadership failure among others. The former’s decision to dismiss the latter was based on ‘‘independent investigative report’’ on the violence which occurred on July 8-25, 2016.
I think those who perused James Gatdet Dak’s comment read mischief and malice, and as such, his post was misconstrued to mean that he applauded the none procedural and illegal dismissal of the aforementioned Kenyan Army General spewing the uncountable ire of Kenyan presidency.
A day after he was picked and arrested at his house in Nairobi by the Kenyan police, his boss Dr. Riek Machar pleaded on phone with Deputy President William Ruto (the hustler) and Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai to persuade President Kenyatta to rescind his decision or deport Gatdet Dak to another country of his choice, but the duo’s efforts bore no fruits.
I tried too, in my capacity as South Sudanese residing in Kenya; I have explained my understanding of his controversial Facebook comment in my open letter to President Kenyatta dated 6th November 2016.
I wished Gatdet Dak made his comment on video clip, so that we could say it was slip of tongue. Indeed his post was ambiguous, and no one but Gatdet Dak himself can interpret it better. It is my sincere hope that he could get out of Jail soon, so that he can explain to us in verbatim the content of his post.
That is the much I can do in that regard. But I will continue to contemplate and discuss it with a smile on my face until we find and reach an ultimate solution. We must keep dialoguing despite the rigidity in our leaders’ minds. In Dinka we say ‘‘Nuer dol kerach’’which loosely mean, Nuer man laugh when things are extremely bad. On this note, we also say in thuok Naath, ‘‘Ruai migoa ce mijiek peen’’ which mean, ‘‘talking nice does not prevent retributive action; on the other hand, it will not prevent us from taking affirmative measures.
The unfortunate deportation of James Gatdet Dak will not discourage us from resuscitating the dying hope and the dim light that hold the trust among the struggling South Sudanese and the majestic people of Kenya who have been toiling and moiling together in the quest to find their rightful among nations.
PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA ACTED NORMALLY
James Gatdet’s deportation was prompted by Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s provocative action. And you will agree that provocation is serious offence and a defense too. Provocation is an uncouth action that makes a person becomes very bitter and furious, that is reason President Uhuru responded venomously to Gatdet and Ban Ki-moon. It is unfortunate that Ban Ki-moon did not feel an iota of consequences due to his social status. In Naath language we say ‘teke rami not guade’’ meaning when you’re offended and hurt by someone else with equal or more powers than you, you can display your anger on the weakest person closer to you notwithstanding his or her innocence. This was what has really happened to Gatdet Dak. He was the victim like us but he ended up being victimized.
Provocation is bad thing which often causes uncontrollable anger most of the times. Provocation can be in form of action or sentiment, the one which has been provoked normally reacts and responded with no or little restraint and sobriety.
However, provocation is a normal human emotion similar to happiness. If one is only happy and not angry, that is not proper human emotion, as such, there is always a time to be happy and angry.
You would realize that President Kenyatta has been very happy and jovial to all members of SPLM warring factions namely SPLM-IO, SPLM-IG and SPLM-FD. This time round, maybe he is just showing his wrath on Riek Machar and company for the first time.
Last year in 2015, President Kenyatta confronted renegade President Salva Kiir when he declined to append his signature on peace agreement in Addis Ababa on 15th August 2015; you remembered he stood up in front of Salva Kiir and looked at him directly in the face very annoyed to an extent of throwing blows on his face. That time Rebecca Nyadeng Garang wailed in vain.
At the onset, President Kenyatta was among the first head of states that travelled to Juba on 26th, 11 days after the war was unleashed on civilians.
WAS PRESIDENT UHURU A REFEREE OR AN ARBITER IN SOUTH SUDAN CONFLICT 2013/16?
In all his engagements during this conflict, President Uhuru was seen acting and behaving like a Referee rather than an Arbiter in the war. There is no doubt President Yoweri Museveni was an active opponent, participant and player in the war.
In 2014, President Uhuru called Dr. Riek Machar and company to Nairobi. On arrival, he received them on red carpet at state house Nairobi before they addressed the nation live on state television. Over times, he is with President Kiir almost on daily basis signing unproductive deals both here and in Juba. it is irrefutable that President Kenyatta has been holding each of these absurd guys in kid gloves for long time. It is now that we are seeing him parting ways with some.
In the midst of 2014 he went and facilitated the release of SPLM former Detainees from Juba, he later brought them to Nairobi and host them at luxurious Winsor Hotel for full year, where they used to warm up until they gained momentum. Thereafter he invited them as state guests at 52nd Madaraka day celebration on 1st June 2015 before he scouted some of them back to Juba to join their erstwhile godfather Salva Kiir in Juba.
Prior to their release from detention, they were all speaking in one voice as opposition family together with their colleagues, the likes of Dr Adwok Nyaba and Dr, Riek Machar in the bush. It was when they reached Nairobi that they developed a change of hearts.
As soon as they arrived in Nairobi, President Kenyatta hosted them at state house and had them talk and address the nation live on television.
On hearing them speaking at state house, I was aghast to hear John Luk referring to President Salva Kiir as a comrade. I asked myself, does he really know what the word comrade means?
As days went by, they established third block called SPLM former detainee whose sole objective was to sabotage and prolong this ongoing war. I realized these are guys whose naivety is beyond belief. On that day, i reached logical conclusion that they are politically senile and misguided lots who hold conflicting ideologies. How dare do they stand neutral yet they are the one who masterminded the conflict in 2013 through their subversive activities. A true revolutionary leader cannot sit on the fence; he must choose sides and be specific, and the worse thing a writer or an intellectual can do is to confuse the masses.
The none-blessed position taken by SPLM FD to form a third party was an insult to the intelligence of South Sudanese people. At that time, many people could not comprehend what went wrong in Nairobi; and if it was because they were misled in Nairobi than its unfortunate; many of them are very senior political giants and towering academic personalities who are expected to manifest clear political direction in time like this. You hear of Dr. Cirilo Iteng, Dr. Kosti Manibe, Dr. Majak Agot, legal counsel Luk Joak, Eng. Tong Mayay, Pagan Amum and war veterans such as Wiyay Deng Ajak Madut Biar et cetera. They have really disappointed us, it lead me to recall an English adage saying don’t judge a book by its cover. What these senior fellows did manifest an utmost intellectual cowardice. An intellectual who sits passively when injustice is committed in his country, who permits a dictator to trample upon the country is a said to be traitor to his people.
JAMES GATDET DAK WAS FEARED DEAD
On 11th November, colleague of mine told me on phone that he heard in noon that James Gatdet Dak was smothered. In reply, I told him it should not be surprise to hear such news. Right from the onset we know it will cost us tears, sweat, blood and even lives. We are not fools to be oppressed forever. Let’s work and pay the price for the South Sudan we want.
The change we aspire for won’t be delivered on a silver plate. I then challenge him and the rest of you now, to divorce your relaxed posture and to refrain from simple and mere talk. We have to design and come up with practical vision to guide our people, and by so doing, we need to be livid and vivid in our daily political discourse. We must change the norm where dedication and hard work is punished and call subversive, while laziness, sycophancy and mediocrity is rewarded and deemed patriotic.
While I grasp and grappled with this death news, I told my communicator as we were still chatting that the info may not be further from the truth. In fact it was same day when Eye Radio was shut down in Juba, I said perhaps it was this incident which prompted the indefinite closure of the said media house; and its shut-down could be done to prevent them from airing the news to the general public.
Shortly after I learned of this info, I tried to call some guys to check whether they were aware of the same, but their replies were negatives. So I then took it as rumors.
In the wee hours, the following 12th November, the same colleague whose name i concealed ranged me back saying the, the info he told me yesterday hearsay and rumor and not true, that James Gatdet Dak was just tortured but he was still alive in Juba. I said well and good. I wish him well.
So far James Gatdet Dak is not yet arraigned in court one month since he was deported to Juba. No lawyer can dare sought court orders to have him be prosecuted in fair trial. Let alone that no legal advocate can sought his release orders, the judges at Kangaroo court in Juba cannot act on their original exclusive powers commonly known as the ‘harbeas corpus’, ‘‘a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into a court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for his detention’’
This saddening silence in the so-called judiciary illustrate and prove to us that the courts are compromised in South Sudan, and that we are in lawless and not democratic country.
As I said before, that prisons in south Sudan have living conditions which are not even fit for swine, and that inmates often face hellish experience as they undergo severe torture, starvation and murder often.
If we still believe that James Gatdet Dak is alive, can we try to imagine his living condition in solitary confinement. We don’t expect them to handle James Gatdet Dak with kid gloves. I suspect he is constantly beaten and tortured.
South Sudanese should remember the time we were under Khartoum’s oppressive regime, in such oppressive system, people cannot get justice unless they march in hundred, armed with machine guns to combat the oppressors as we did since 1955 and throughout the Anyanya one and two up to independent.
When Professor Maina wa Kinyatti was at Kamiti maximum prison, he wrote in his book entitle ‘‘A prison Notebook’’ that whenever some prisoners are fed with plenty of good foods, fried chicken, roasted goat meat, eggs, fruits, milk and sex, they will just know the worse is on the way, the next day morning, they will be kill in hanging machine. This is often done to prevent victims from cursing their killers.
In case James Gatdet is alive, then we must agree that he is undergoing ill-treatment at the hands of his captors; the day they will give him water to take shower, clean drinking cold water, and eat good food to his satisfaction. Know that it is day they will end his life either by smothering him without public knowledge or kill him in fire-squad.
JAMES GATDET DAK IS PERMITTED TO LIE
‘‘salus populi supreme lex’’ meaning in English, the welfare of the people is the supreme law. I hereby request James Gatdet Dak to tell his captors what they want him to tell them for sake of his life. If Salva Kiir and company want him to change his political stance in exchange of his life, so be it. I know it is hard to lie especially if one is lying for the first time, just like it is hard to steal for the first time. But I believe he can try to say a lie for the sake of his dear life.
Let James Gatdet Dak lie to Salva and company because they are all sworn professional and natural liars. SPLM regime feeds on human blood and maintains its control of political power through deceit, lies, fanaticism and outright repression, using the judges and courts as its repressive tools.
To support SPLM and Salva Kiir is akin to supporting neocolonialism and foreign domination. We have seen this through the huge present of thousand NGOS, UNMISS and UPDF in South Sudan. Neocolonialism has been described as monstrous system that kills the intellectual creativity of a people, deform their minds and reduce them to international beggars.
It should be ruthlessly combated in our mountains and forests all over South Sudan. Sir Farabundo Marti of El Salvador, tell us: ‘‘when history cannot be written with a pen, it must be written with a rifle.’’
The problems of South Sudan are not an act of nature; they are a result of perennial leadership failure in the hand of SPLM and its leaders who are ideas bankrupt. It is very unfortunate that some people still nod, ululate, clap and shake their backsides at anything devilish done by Salva Kiir and his surrogates.
I declare today President Salva Kiir and his clueless corrupt surrogates cannot continue urinating on our heads without resistance. It is very sad to see some guys in our midst who seem not to see anything wrong with our status quo, others are just not moved at all, and they don’t care. They are indifferent fanatic and fatalistic. Those who gather the courage to take a stand for what is right, are lampooned left, right and center by those who don’t have that courage.
I urge James Gatdet Dak to behave like them at least for a while to survive. They always say if you’re in the city of Rome, do as romans do. Now that Gatdet is forcefully taken to Juba, let him live by lying as Jubians do because they are good at lie.
Let James Gatdet Dak come out tomorrow and declare that he denounce and abandon Riek Machar and cause of change altogether. Let him change his mind, and declare utmost allegiance to them in broad day light. I wish he could swear and say, I James Gatdet Dak do hereby swear that I will remain loyal, to his Excellency Salva Kiir who provide money, food, water and life; and General, polygamist, and King Paul Malong Awan and the only lover of peace Field Marshal, vice President Taban Deng.
He is now permitted to say all manner of wild accusations including against his boss if that will make them believe that they had defeated the multitude of people, youth, women, elders on the trenches. We just want his life nothing else. We want him to live and tell his own story in future when we restore peace and order in our land. We don’t want him to be martyr now.
That is my number one advice to Gatdet Dak, and I believe it will reach him in Jail via dream in one of these fine day or night.
LEGAL AND MORAL DEFENSE AVAILABLE FOR YOU
In law there is defense known as ‘necessity’ if one is face with imminent danger, he is at liberty to tell lie and cheat his captors with what they want to hear. If one threaten and want you to say you kill someone, you can say yes if that will let him spare your life. In event he wants to use that statement against you in court of law, you can refute the claim and say you were under duress. When situation normalizes and you feel secure, one can justify that you were either coerced or threatened with death, and hence, the people will understand and you will be vindicated, and this case is no exception. When you make such tricks, the people of South Sudan will exonerate you later. They will know that Gatdet Dak don’t declare allegiance to Salva Kiir and company out will for you were coerced and threatened with death.
In delicate circumstances, it is justifiable to steal food if one is hungry; if one is about to fall into a pit he may grab another person for support; if one is about to be shot, he may feel constrained to use the person next to him as shield against the gunman.
Relatively and currently, vast majority in Juba purport to Support Salva Kiir and his tatters regime because they have nowhere to escape; many people today claim to support Salva Kiir and company because they are filthy hungry, and thus they swear allegiance to them to get food and to sustain them and families.
James Gatdet Dak can come out and say he will from now onward support Salva Kiir and Taban for him to survive because the duo will show no little mercies if he don’t do as they wish.
It is believe truth and lies are at the core of all our relationships. Over times people lie for two major reasons, to avoid punishment and to receive rewards. So if one tell lie to avoid unjust punishment, to me that is cleverness. In view of the foregoing, James Gatdet Dak is permitted to tell lie and live.
LAST REASONABLE RESORT FOR JAMES GATDET DAK
Dear Dak, if you cannot swallow this idea of lying for the sake of pleasing and praising the aforesaid dictators, than stay put, if it means death, so be it.
President Mandela, Miguna Miguna and President Jomo Kenyatta were imprisoned but they remained standstill and unshaken against colonialists defending their ideas and ideals for their countries. You can also withstand their evils attempts to break you consciousness.
As you spend your days in jail, always remember the noble duty and responsibility of any political detainee is threefold:
To transform prisons into political school for future;
To politicized both guards and fellow inmates and convinced them to hate Salva Kiir and SPLM regime in its entirety, and at the same persuade them to supports the struggle for democracy in our country; and
To try to win as many guards on our side so that we can use them to take messages, letters and political documents to our families and comrades who are in and outside prisons
Know that without the support of guards we would be isolated and finally cut off from the outside world.
As I conclude, I want to remember the words of Professor Maina, he tell us, always remember life in prison is supported by courage, dreams, memories and ideals. Otherwise the captive would wither and die. What will keeps you going in jail is the realization that this incarceration is not for eternity; once this long boring night is over, I shall return to the free world and continues the struggle for socialism and democracy.
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