The Democratic Forum Refutes False Allegations of Acting Secretary General
South Sudan Democratic Forum-Canada
August 22, 2006
The Democratic Forum would like to refute false allegations made in Khartoum by acting Secretary General, Mr. Stanslaus Wani Jada on August 16, 2006. The press release he issued to the media in Khartoum regarding the suspension of branch offices in Canada and U.S. based on unsubstantiated allegations demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt the incompetence and lack of organizational structure of Mr. Jada.
It is to be recalled that the alleged incidences which he referred to relating to conduct of the branch offices in Canada and U.S., in our view, should not have been interpreted as a negative campaign against the leaders of Government of National Unity (GONU) and Government of South Sudan (GoSS). In order to put all these into perspective, we can only recall two press releases, one calling for African Union not to hold Summit in Khartoum by disregarding the genocide in Darfur and the current release pertaining to the detention of the Governor of Western Equatoria, Mr. Patrick Zamoi.
In relation to December press release on Darfur, our campaign was based purely on the overwhelming evidence of human rights abuses, which were echoed around the world resulting into UN Security Council Resolution, which authorized the deployment of UN peace keeping forces in Darfur, which we understand will take place sometimes at the end of the year.
If that viewpoint is regarded as an insult to GONU and GoSS, then perhaps the acting Secretary General may have lapse of memory because the GoSS is on record in supporting the deployment of UN forces in Darfur. This was confirmed by the visit of President Salva Kiir to Washington in July.
As for the second allegation regarding the governor of Western Equatoria, we thought the Democratic Forum has an obligation to draw the attention of President Salva Kiir to constitutional issues that were overlooked when issuing the decree suspending the governor of the WES. We felt the President of the GoSS was not properly advised if at all he consulted his legal advisors. Furthermore, if Mr. Jada read the press release, he should have noted the legal language employed in explaining the violations of constitutional rights of the Mr. Zamoi.
This being said, we are not sure whether the decision to issue the suspension of the branch offices of Canada and U.S. was a collective one or unilateral. If it were to be a collective decision, then based on our consultation with certain prominent members of the party, the National Executive Committee was excluded in that particular meeting. This could be construed from the way the information was sent out by giving no member a copy of the decision without even informing the Secretary General in U.K. and the branch committees.
It is clear from his language that the acting Secretary General has never read the constitution of South Sudan Democratic Forum since he joined the party late. Article 7 (b) of the constitution states that “the branch of South Sudan Democratic Forum Committee shall carry out the publicity and organizational work in its area to further the policies and programs of the South Sudan Democratic Forum”. If Mr. Jada is not under the influence of negative forces in Khartoum, perhaps he should not make false allegations against the U.S. and Canada branches.
Moreover, his allegations of suspension are dismissible on constitutional grounds. Section 1 of Chapter V of the constitution of the Democratic Forum states that “disciplinary proceedings shall be confined to violations of the basic principles and norms of the South Sudan Democratic Forum, and not be used as a means of stifling debate or denying members their basic democratic rights”.
The phrase “not be used as a means of stifling debate or denying members their basic democratic rights” in section one is very important to protect the branches because acting Secretary General, who is under the influence of the enemies of the party, would not have an opportunity to use Joseph Stalin’s tactics to satisfy his masters.
We may also wonder whether the acting Secretary General read article 3 on disciplining members since it is stipulated that “any person faced with disciplinary proceedings shall receive due written notice of any hearing and of the basic allegations against him or her and be afforded a reasonable opportunity to make his or her defense”. If Mr. Jada is not an acting Secretary of Pol Pot, he should realize that any democratic party cannot suspend branch committees without satisfying the legal requirements of article 3 on discipline.
Referring to our charge of incompetence, the fact that the acting Secretary General could not consult his colleague Dr. Samuel Koang Gatluak, the Secretary General and the heads of the branches in U.S. and Canada, demonstrates incompetence to say the less. This is not to mention also his failure to observe the organizational structure of South Sudan Democratic Forum, which compromises different political organizations whose leaders should have been made aware of such a decision. Mr. Jada should know such a unilateral decision, if not properly coordinated, could have very far reaching consequences that may tantamount to paralysis of the organization.
As we are now making further inquiries into what lies behind this Stalinist decision, we wouldn’t be tempted to behave in a similar manner as it has been shown by the acting Secretary General until we are fully sure that this decision was taken with the full knowledge of the leadership, i.e., the chairman, the vice-chairman, the Secretary General and the members of the States’ leadership councils of SSDF.
As far as we are concerned, the current SSDF—although registered as a party—is still run by a provisional leadership pending the holding of the national convention. We also feel that national convention is long overdue and is causing a lot of concerns despite some attempts by members of SSDF to call for a convention. The response has always been mute making members both inside Sudan and Diapora to be disillusioned with the way the party is being run.
As most members of the Democratic Forum are fully committed to the principles and ethos of democracy, justice, equality and freedom of speech, most of them do feel that their main objective is to keep the party strong and united. To do that, it should be by encouraging democratic principles of listening to masses particularly the supporters and taking on board their views. Because of this the U.S. branch will have a convention in September followed by U.S.-Canada Continental convention in October. These decisions were taken after a long reflection based on the way the provisional leadership is dealing with issues relating to the party.
It must be mentioned that since the transfer of head office from London to Khartoum, communication between Khartoum and branches have been very poor creating some form of communication breakdown. The branches have on several occasions sent emails as a way of correspondence and communication to the head office in Khartoum without any responses. The only people who respond to correspondences are the members of parliament in Juba and the State Assemblies. The responses from those members of parliament have been only the source of strength and encouragements for the branch offices to carry on with their duties which they said have been highly appreciated by South Sudan masses.
As people who are promoting democracy, our mission is to reach out to all our fellow South Sudan citizens to encourage them to build a strong democratic society based on justice, equality, freedom of speech, transparency, respect for human rights and fighting corruption. Our vision is to promote a society that is at ease with itself where all people are equal before the law. The August 2003 convention in London stated the mission of Democratic Forum. Our motto is: either you are with liberal democracy in the Sudan or against it, or if you are against it, then you are anti-peace element who would endanger the comprehensive peace agreement.
If our campaign for democracy is regarded as unprincipled and earning as a name as “unprincipled elements”, then we need to reexamine and revisit our consciences which might have been blurred by the acting Secretary General who failed to see that the call for national convention is a democratic right of the members of any organization. Needless even to question the use of substandard language that failed to observe the logic of running a formal organization.
Looking at the release of the acting Secretary General critically, perhaps what could be inferred from it is that of a man who is protecting his master from falling from grace. And therefore certain sacrifices will have to be made for the master to remain riding high in his gravy train. In this case we wonder whether the master is aware of what his page is doing.
Mr. Jada will not stop liberal democracy from invading Sudan; Hitler failed, Mussolini failed, Stalin failed, Pol Pot failed and Idi Amin failed. There are enemies of South Sudan Constitution and pro-corruption elements who do not want to hear liberal democracy for fear of auditing of public funds.
We assure the public that we will commend on the speech of President Salva Kiir to South Sudan Assembly on Sept. 4th. The Democratic Forum branches in Canada and U.S. will serve as vehicles of democratizing Sudan.
Gordon Buay, Chairman of South Sudan Democratic Forum-Canada