Democracy versus the Recycling of unwanted Governors in South Sudan

Posted: January 23, 2019 by aljokd in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Malith Alier, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia


Demo-cracy or Demo-crazy?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 (PW) — According to “Hot in Juba” news, we read that the governors of Western Lakes and Tonj States, Hon. Matur Chut and Anthony Bol Madut have been relieved, at least for now from their gubernatorial positions by Kiir for undisclosed reasons. The veteran governors are old time generals in the Sudan People’s liberation Army (SPLA) which is also the predecessor of the South Sudan Defence Forces (SSDF).

Anthony Bol Madut was rumoured to be a commander in Anyanya II which joined the SPLA in 1983. During our days in Dima, Ethiopia, Anthony headed Buma (Boma) up to the time of signing peace in 2005 after which he became the first governor of former Warrap State. Matur Chut on the other hand, was in the army until they were retired after independence. He became the governor of Lakes State replacing Daniel Aweet Akot. This is his second stint after the division of former Lakes in to Gok State, Western and Eastern Lakes States.

There are only two enduring governors after the 2010 elections. They make up the 20% of the former 10 states replicated in December 2015. Louise Lobong Lojore of former Eastern Equartoria and Rizik Zakaria Hassan of former Western Bar el Ghazal are the two right hand men that Kiir’s perennial decrees never touched. Despite the redivivision of the ten states, they got appointments to the new states of Kapoeta and Raja.

A bit of conspiracy has it that Louise Lobong presides over a vast area of Kapoeta, full of gold and cattle wealth. It’s the least literate state. As such, Louise is the lifeline to the powers that might be in Juba. Gold is the unexplored commodity in the area and it informally feeds the kleptocrats with little to no scrutiny of some sort. Therefore, it’s wise to keep things under the carpet as long as possible.

Apart from the two governors above, recycling of other governors is widespread and systematic before and after independence. The same thing is true of County Commissioners who are usually appointed by the incoming governors as their political people.

The Constitution

According to the 2011 Constitution, all the governors, Commissioners and other local government vacancies are directly elected by the people. The same constitution allows the president to remove governors only when there exists a threat to national security in the respective state. The election to replace the relieved governor must be organised within six (60) days. Very clear as the sun above! Governors have been arbitrarily dismissed and replaced at will in violation of the constitution for several years now with no end insight.

Role of the SPLM

The parliament of the country is stuffed of  unquestioning SPLM members elected in 2010 to assemblies in Juba and Khartoum. When the country got independence, some members who lost their constituencies as a result of separation were lumped in the assembly in Juba where they’re a voice to no one but themselves and the one who keeps them there.

The Civil war

in 2013 war broke out in the country as a result of disagreement in the ruling SPLM party. The three factions held out over the chairmanship. There emerged in the party, accusations of dictatorship and tribalism as a result of failure of internal party democracy. Riek and Kiir factions faced off militarily while Pagan faction lingers on the sidelines.

South Sudan as we speak has no quick exit from this quagmire. We’ll remain glued to pre-independence period at in terms of democracy. Our situation is not helped by neighbours who are closely feigning friendship to us but are not true democracies. Sudan and Uganda have long term rulers who are only interested in retaining power at all cost to the detriment of their people. Political suppression is the norm in these countries.

further down the line, democracy will not come from outside. The people of the country will demand for it in order to materialise. In 1992, Kenya which was under Moi dictatorship for 24 years demanded for multiparty democracy and it won. We see how Kenya fares now. KANU the liberation movement is no more. No one dares to talk about it any longer. That is a warning to liberation movements who dare not to change and adapt to new conditions in their countries.

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 Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. Albino Aleu says:

    To: Author, Malith Alier in Australia

    Brother, I would like to correct you on few thing which you had posted at website of Paanluelwel. Before starting to tell you about the wrong thing and what is not first of all, the most important thing for a good writer is to make sure that, you do not lies to your Readers. The second important thing for being a writer is to informs the people on something which they were not aware. The third most important thing is to tell the truth to your audience this is part of trusting author when he/she post anything. I think these few advice would walking you back a little a bit from the past articles and say okay I get it brother.

    I might not be perfect person but at this point, I would like to correct you about the duration of Anthony Bol Madut in Boma Town. There is no question general Anthony Bol Madut did lived in Buma Town for some time but he left Boma area to Tonj and Juba around before the CPA to be inked in Kenya. This is true and there is no need to argued with me. Again, general Bol Madut was not the first governor of former Warrap State. The first governor of former Warrap State was Anei Kueidit, Tor Deng Mawien was acting governor, Anthony Bol Madut was appointed governor of former Warrap State just to solved the communities problems in between Apuk Giir Thiik and Agouk community respectively and the official governor elected was madam Nyandeng Malek I am from former Warrap State and I do not need you to disagree because these are facts indeed.

    Let us moved to correct you also from the former Lake State. The first governor in the former Lake State was actual John Latt but he did not spent more time during that time. He was accused on corruption by the people of that region perhaps, he was replace him with general Daniel Awet Akot. Then, the president dismissed Daniel Awet Akot and appointed Chol Tong Mayay. Then, Mr. Chol Tong Mayay was also dismissed and replace him with major general Matur Chut Dhuol. I belief what I am telling you is correct and if there is a benefit of doubt hence, you must contact the people of former Lake State within Australia nation however, we can disagree than being disagreeable for simple thing because I belief the above mentions are all correct.
    Thank you brother

    Albino Aleu


  2. aljokd says:

    Dear albino,
    Foremost, I thank you for your response above. In so many years i have been writing, no one like you had bothered to correct or compliment me on dozens of articles I took time to author.
    I also thank Paanluelwel Editor for alerting me on my email about your concerns. Otherwise, once I publish a piece and it went for weeks, I never bothered to revisit in case of such concerns as raised by readers.
    Your concerns run as follow;
    1……the most important thing for a good writer is to make sure that, you do not lies to your Readers.
    2……The second important thing for being a writer is to informs the people on something which they were not aware
    3……The third most important thing is to tell the truth to your audience this is part of trusting author when he/she post anything

    Those are your concerns as directly taken from your response above.

    My response
    I have no intention to lie or tell lies to my readers. What you take as lies are the matters of timing. The time Anthony Bol Madut left Boma (Buma). The facts are clear, Mr. Madut ran Boma for many years after the fall of the historical town to the SPLA rebels in 1985, but what I am not sure upto now is the exact time he left Boma for Juba and Tonj. You have also not specified the time here. Also the time when he became the governor was first or second time may not be correct but that shouldn’t be taken as a lie because he became a governor after Anei Madut Kueindit. So, he was not the first but the second. Therefore, he became a governor at least on two occasions. He is been recycled through decrees!

    It’s not the responsibility of the any author to inform people of something they were not aware of.An author can write something of interest to inform, remind, educate, entertain or just jog the memory of readers. Different readers have different takes on matters. They also have different interpretations. The choice is theirs.

    Telling the truth is the opposite of telling lies. If you say someone told lies than he/she was not telling the truth.
    I am not here to say that I am perfect, however I do anything in my power to endeavour to write facts as they are.
    The issue of timing is a different matter altogether. For example you said Daniel awet Akot was dismissed by the president but that is not correct. During 2010 election, the SPLM decided to nominate Chol Tong Mayay, who was a minister in Lakes state while leaving Awet as the care-taker governor. Chol won in the elections and Awet moved to Juba and became deputy to Wani in parliament.

    on my article above, the facts are correct. The timing was incorrect as I couldn’t place exact times on the appointments of the recyclables. Therefore, sorry for that.


  3. Albino Aleu says:

    Malith Alier
    I don’t know what to say exactly because the way you have responding to me is seemingly that, you don’t want to accept that kind of misleading your Readers. Anthony Bol Madut left Boma Town long time ago before the SPLA attacked Juba in 1992. Also he was order by the late Chairman to bring SPLA Mobile forces around Juba and he did that mission and even he had visited Kakuma Refugee Camp in 1997 if you can remember that. You said, Madut headed Boma up to the time of signing peace in 2005 is that not a misleading your Readers?. Now I am glad that, you find out general Anthony Bol Madut was not the first governor of former Warrap State and I will leave others South Sudanese Readers to be the judge but first of all, I have nothing to against you put that in mind. Basically, I was very concern about your statement because we have had known all these Top SPLA leaders one way or another and this is why I am trying to tell you so that, to be aware for the things you had said incorrect. I don’t like to bothering people but I hated the way some people always misleading in South Sudan.

    I understand that, our people don’t wanted to be told when they did something wrong however, I think the young nation need us to build with the collection of our Ideas but if we don’t take advice as a good thing then, I don’t know how we are going to move from here and do something right in there. Anyway, thank you for going back and acknowledge others thing which you had said randomly incorrect. Please, you must accepted to be told even if you think you are right because that is how the educated and opening minding people does.
    Thank .
    Albino Aleu


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