Let’s Avoid using the President as Scapegoat for our own Problems

Posted: April 26, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, David Deng Chapath, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By David Deng Chapath, Kampala, Uganda


The swearing in ceremony of Gen. Taban Deng Ghai as the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, photo by Maal Maker Thiong on July 26th, 2016, J-1, Juba

April 26, 2017 (SSB) —- In the society where people are confused and do not know what they are doing, they always point fingers at other people and keep on blaming others for their faults. In such a situation, it is hard to get a solution and because of that people can easily lose confidence or trust in the system based on hearsay.

Where people live on hearsay, it is hard to maintain trust or confidence. The most important thing is trust and where there is no trust, the system is broken or will be broken by lies.

For that reason, it is important to say something small about trust.  In a social context, trust has several connotations.  According to Wikipedia, trust typically refers to a situation characterized by the following aspects:

One party (trustor) is willing to rely on the actions of another party (trustee); the situation is directed to the future. In addition, the trustor (voluntarily or forcedly) abandons control over the actions performed by the trustee.

 In addition, trust can be attributed to relationships between people. It can be demonstrated that humans have a natural disposition to trust and to judge trustworthiness that can be traced to the neurobiological structure and activity of a human brain.

As seen above, trust is a basis of human relationship in any aspect of life. More importantly, in the situation where people trust in governance and in the ability of the one running the system then the government will be effective.

However, in the country like South Sudan where a leader is judged weak unless he or she proves strong, it is hard to get the trust and corporation from the people. This is not because the leader is weak but it is because they have their own expectations from the leader.

 Some expect a leader to be their friend in order to benefit from him or her while some wants to use the leader to achieve their own aim. Without meeting this expectation, the leader will be condemned and deplored as being means and non-co-operative because of his or her failure to co-operate with individuals who want to use him to rule behind the backdoor. This leaves the leader in nowhere as he or she does not trust anyone.

When the citizens do not respect the leader and the government, they cause problems by themselves and after that they turn around to blame the government.  But when the leader uses force to control them they appeal to the human rights organizations, which come face to face the government and the president. But when the president just talks to them without using any force, they become uncouth and unruly as we see in South Sudan today.

After committing their own sin of disorderliness and corruption in their own ways which affect them, they turn around to blame the president for failing to control the situation. Why do they blame the president I don’t know? If they know that what they are doing or what their friends are doing is not correct why then they don’t just stop by themselves!

This tendency of using the president as scapegoat is unbecoming of South Sudanese. They know very well that some things are not good for our lives but they keep on doing them while blaming the president for their occurrence.

I must say that these people do not know what they are doing and God should forgive them. They must avoid using the president as scapegoat because he is not a problem due to the following reasons—

First of all, we all elected him and because of that we have committed ourselves to co-operate with him. However, in South Sudan we elect leaders and later turn around to blame them for our own sins, forgetting that we reap exactly what we sow.

Secondly, people do not know how to solve their own problems. It is therefore not surprising to find a husband and wife quarreling at home and after that begins blaming Kiir that it is because of him they have fought at home. The question is: how helpful President Kiir would have been in such a situation?

Thirdly, in some countries people are killed but it is not blamed on the leader but in South Sudan if even a husband or a wife kills his or her wife at home, President Kiir is blamed for letting one to kill the other. How would Kiir have helped in such a situation is not clear.

Fourthly, economic crisis are blamed on the weakness of the President of South Sudan yet such a crisis may befall any country at any time.  For example, the USA was hit by the financial crisis of 2007–2008, also known as the global financial crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, which is considered by many economists to have been the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

That financial crisis was part of economic crisis. It began in 2007 with a crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the US, and developed into a full-blown international banking crisis with the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008.

Apart from the USA as explained above the following countries:  Iceland; Pakistan; Brazil; Ireland; South Africa; Zambia; the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. These eight (8) countries had experienced economic crises, but they had never blamed their leaders but what they did was to get united and fight economic crises.

Nonetheless, in South Sudan is different.  What makes things worse in South Sudan is the lack of understanding of what they government is and whether the government is independent from the people. This makes everybody attack the President and the government that the President has failed to run the country yet they are the one who have failed in the first place to understand what is meant by the term government. Because our problems are rooted in the way we understand the government, I need to take some time to explain the meaning of the government below.

 A government as defined somewhere is the system by which a state or community is controlled.  In the case of this broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislators, administrators, and arbitrators.  In other words, Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state.

Moreover, forms of government, or forms of state governance, refers to the set of political systems and institutions that make up the organization of a specific government.  Governments control the economy, social freedoms, and political systems, and may or may not be voluntary.

In addition  in a work called the Commonwealth of Nations, the word government is also used more narrowly to refer to the ministry (collective executive), a collective group of people that exercises executive authority in a state or, more narrowly, the governing cabinet as part of the executive. This usage is analogous to what is called an “administration” in American English.

Furthermore, in American English, the concepts of the state and the government may be used synonymously to refer to the person or group exercising authority over a politically organized territory.

As seen in the above definition of government, a group of people who have offered themselves to serve other people in the community are called government.  What however, distinguish the government from other forms of organization such as the community based organization is the use of coercive force by the government, which, is legitimate to ensure that the will of the government is obeyed.

What further differentiates the government from other organizations is the fact that the government has a character of perpetual existence. In simple language, government lives forever and ever unless dissolved.

The implication of the formation of the government is that once the government is formed by the citizens then it becomes an independent body that imposes its will on citizens which they must obey if such a will is legitimate.

In South Sudan, however, is different. It is the government, which is required to do what people want all the time even if it is a will of one person and contrary to public interest. If the government objects to such a desire, the citizens rebel against the government with intention of destroying it and then to set up another government which must operate in accordance to what they want.

In summary, my advice to people of South Sudan is that let’s avoid blaming the government even for the problems we have a solution to ourselves. We should not use the leader we elected as scapegoat to our problems. Whereas I acknowledge that we are facing serious problems let’s not destroy the house to build a new house in an attempt to solve the problems. Let’s not dig a hole to fill a hole. We need to be honest and acknowledge that some problems need the solution of the president while other problems can be solved by ourselves. This needs co-operation with the government and not confrontation.

NB//: the author is South Sudanese student residing in Uganda and can be reached through: dengdavid00@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

  1. Malith Alier says:

    Clarity needed from author. Things to note why governments are blamed: insecurity, economic meltdown, mega corruption scandals, public sector salary delays, inadequate health care, poor education standards etc


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