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Articles and Analysies Last Updated: Dec 20, 2009 - 3:34:53 PM

The Right Time to Slap a King is When a Fly Descend on His Cheek: ‘Dr.’ Salva Kiir VS. Dr. Lam Akol By James Okuk

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The Right Time to Slap a King is When a Fly Descend on His Cheek: ‘Dr.’ Salva Kiir VS. Dr. Lam Akol  


By James Okuk  


Last year when the SPLM started the preparations for its 2nd Convention, I wrote a challenging article that the internal democratic transformation is going to be a hard test for this novice party. I understood that despite media vocality on “New Sudan on a New Basis” by its mediocre acolytes the reality remains; their incapacity and unwillingness to bridge the gap between the rhetoric and action while they claim political polymathy.  


After the Convention, my projection became true as the occasion turned out to be a scam with upside down mockery to democracy; leaders choosing their own voters without a clear party programme. There, the real leadership crisis within the SPLM organs started to surface because nobody was sure amongst the contenders (Salva Kiir, Riek Machar and Nhial Deng) that democracy will choose him as a trusted friend. Because of this dubious feature, Mr. Salva Kiir got the second best SPLM leadership luck in his life time as he was given another chance for a benefit of doubt to prove himself trustworthy in the name of Unity of the historic Movement Party. However, this unity compromised the worsening SPLM leadership status quo in the South and unjustifiable abstaining of its Chairman from the North.  


But without surprise and not longer than later, the re-crowned SPLM King forgot that there are still flies of corruption, tribalism, insecurity and incompetence on his Cheeks, and this could become suitable occasions for slapping him at ripen time; the elections period for leadership verdict.  


Hitherto, and with the announcement of Dr. Lam Akol as the leader of the newly formed SPLM-DC Party, the SPLM King feels being slapped on the Cheeks and finding it hard to swallow the bitter fills for relieving the pain. He ran to President Al Bashir to block the new party from registering in National Political Parties Council but the NCP BoSS tells him that he is very sorry to intervene and muddle on other party’s affairs and so the King is free to pursue his dictatorial request where the mandate is located; the Chairman of Political Parties Council who says: I respect equal opportunity for competition as long as competitors are ready and qualified for the race.  


Now, the SPLM King has been shown that it is time to compete on people’s confidence at the grassroots level and nobody (including Al-Bashir) can say he is the people until he is told so in the results of the 2010 ballots. Where will Salva Kiir get the guts then to tell Dr. Lam Akol to stay in his house after he has declared to the whole world that he is no longer an SPLM member? Has the time come for Kiir to wake up from his slumbers and blunders and start losing weight for a serious work of mobilizing SPLM capacities for winning the coming elections like what Al-Bashir has been doing now?  


I think ‘Dr.’ Salva Kiir has got it into his nerves now that Dr. Lam does not joke around because he is a serious politician who knows what he is doing and where he is leading to. Kiir is going to remember what late Dr. John Garang said in colloquial Arabic: Jabatna entaht wa ma gadrin nagot tehet achan 1991 SPLM/A Split. If the competent Dr. Garang could not sit down and sleep when Dr. Lam and Dr. Riek branched from the movement, how will it be for Kiir when Dr. Lam tells him seriously that enough is enough and he must go home for the South and the CPA to be rescued from governance collapse? Will Kiir step down peacefully and leave the South to start enjoying peace dividends or will he choose confrontation with his competitors? Has he understood that Al Bashir will support Dr. Lam because this savvy politician has unwaveringly supported Al Bashir against the ICC indictment? If you have not gone to academic or empirical school of politics, this cooperation is called give and take from tete-a-tete and it has its good feedbacks.  


Congratulations to Dr. Lam and his other comrades for taking the necessary courage to form a new party for democratic change. Surely, the disappointed people from Kiir’s SPLM leadership will be looking forward with a good hope for this new party to come up forcefully as a tsunami for competing over doing realistic good things rather than repeated bad situations in the country.  


I wish this new party a good health, good luck and long life with the mass support of the discontented people from overdue bad governance and leadership in the Sudan, especially Southern Sudan where the need for development and security is high. Forward ever and backward never!  


James Okuk, PhD Student, University of Nairobi.  

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