Why President Kiir decreed himself out from the National Dialogue as the Patron

Posted: June 12, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Kuol Alberto Makuach, Juba, South Sudan

President Kiir's speeches after independence

Salva Kiir Mayaardit: The Joshua of South Sudan. Grab your copy at Amazon.com

June 12, 2017 (SSB) — The system of governance we are all witnessing in this country is the Presidential system of government. It is the system that has given President Kiir executive powers to be the head of state and government and because of this, he has been acting on decrees.

Since, 2005, he had been appointing and firing members of his cabinet, commission chairpersons, committee members and so forth. No single appointment is done through other channel apart from the Republican Decree.

People have become accustomed to rushing to SSBC news at 8 and 9 PM every Friday and Monday with hope to hear a new decree removing one’s purported enemy and appointment of a friend, a family member or at most someone one has no idea.

Listing all the decrees ever made since would be cumbersome and as such, let us jump to the recent development, the formation of the National Dialogue committee. This exercise was heralded during his speech to parliament in December of 2016 when Mr. Kiir chose to resolve the problem facing this country through the national dialogue. A good start I suppose for 2017.

The first action which followed immediately was the decree for the appointment of the team which will constitute this body. President Kiir decreed himself as the Patron of this body followed by numerous others. Wonders will never cease to amaze me.

Ironically, the first body never got sworn in as there were concerns raised here and there by different groups internally and externally. The first concern was Mr. Kiir’s automatic self-appointment into the National Dialogue as the committee Patron. Arguably, it was wrong for him to even think of being part of the process that would bring about solutions to the crisis facing the country as he is part and parcel of the crisis. You can’t be a judge in your case and expect to loss.

However, he could help the process to continue without interference by distancing himself from it and allows the committee members to run the whole process on their own. The other concerns included, lack of inclusivity, selection criteria, refusal to be part of the team among others. All these put together led to the crumbling of the first established committee.

Months later, we saw a completely twist of events and another larger group with new faces surfaced and this body appeared to have been done out of the outcry as it involved friends and foes of the president which was not the case in the first body.

Again, some individuals opted to turn down the appointment due to lack of consultation. Indeed, for one to be part of this important body which I can call “problems solver”, one should be taken through to understand what he/she would be expected to do and the importance of having him/her in this group. Upon that, one should willingly accept to participate in the National Dialogue.

Should it happen also that the person is a member of a certain group/party, then, it is the party to decide who to participate in the National Dialogue and not at the prerogative of the President or his allies. This is why, it is understandable for Kosti Manibe and Madam Nyandeng of the Former Detainees (G-10) to turn down the appointment.

Of late, we also followed another important development and that is the idea that the president has relinquished the Patron seat which was one of the stumbling blocks. We heard this from the Co-chair of the National Dialogue Mr. Angelo Beda who in one of the interviews said that, the President has abandoned the idea of being the patron and they (committee members) are now working as the sole masters of the body.

This was again, reiterated by Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, the official government spokesperson and the minister of Information when he said that, the president has left the National Dialogue steering committee to run the affairs of the committee alone without interference from anybody.

With this development, what is surprising is why would we hear this from people and yet, Mr. Kiir decreed himself as the patron from day one. If he has come to his senses that he is the problem and must not be the final person to decide the fate of the outcome of the Dialogue, then, he should come out openly to decree himself out.

Remember he came by decree as the patron, so must he go by same decree.

You can reach the author via his email: Kuol K. Alberto <kuolkuol2001@yahoo.com>

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are 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.

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