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Undersecretaries' Reshuffle: An exposure of GOSS Pres. Kiir's Incompetence By: Anywar Matiop, KIU , UGANDA (new south sudan)
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Aug 22, 2009 - 1:38:51 PM

Undersecretaries' Reshuffle: An exposure of GOSS Pres. Kiir's Incompetence


By: Anywar Matiop, KIU , UGANDA (new south sudan )


The recent reshuffle in which the president of the government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) reshuffled the Undersecretaries and interchanged others of various ministries of his government was not done for any purpose but a mere exposure of incompetence and lack of the ability to understand the challenges facing the government and the required skills that are needed to remedy the situation that is already going worse.


If I may guess the president in his intention wanted to improve the services delivery, good governance and fight against corruption, however given his naivety the process of reshuffling was hijacked and opportunists seized the chance and solicited the appointments of their relatives who are not competent to render quality services or the whole exercise was confused that one cannot understand the purpose of the reshuffle.


Given the soaring food prices in the whole world and looming food shortages in the South in particular, the step taken by the president in the recent reshuffle of the Undersecretaries in the concerned Ministries, in my opinion, constitutes another threat to food security in Southern Sudan, because as citizens we expect our government to devise ways in which agricultural production should be increased as a means of circumventing looming food shortages and ever increasing food prices in the South which also include recruitment of the expertise in the respective institutions.


However,   Salva Kiir has shown the opposite in the recent reshuffling   and a clear example of this should be read from his appointments in the two ministries of Agriculture & Forestry and Animals Resources and Fisheries.


Formerly at the Ministry of Animals resources and Fisheries was Dr. Makuei Malual who is professionally a veterinary doctor and this position which he held since GoSS inception was his rightful place given his training. However, in the recent reshuffling he was taken to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Undersecretary who was there and a professional Agriculturalist was taken to the Ministry of Animals resources and Fisheries. One may say the above Ministries are related but you need to be a specialist in soil sciences, pests, diseases and weeds control to be an agriculturalist while that of animals requires you to be able to identify diseases and treat all animals with the exception of man, hence there is a difference.


In such a situation one would be right to say that there was no regard to one's profession in the recent reshuffling and this could be a clear indication that there were no guiding principles and targets to be achieved for the reshuffle because if a Veterinary doctor has failed his duties while practicing his profession, then where else can he perform? Though one may do administratively it is not possible on technical matters.


To me, Mr. President was wrong to move Dr. Makuei who is a veterinary doctor to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Gatluak Waragak to Animals Resources and Fisheries, when he is an agriculturalist because if his reason for their exchange was due to having failed to live up to their duties then he should have sent them away and new persons brought in.


The next point on the matter is that of William Ater who was formerly at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as the undersecretary. Mr. Ater whose capacity is that of a primary school teacher according his level of education had been the Undersecretary since GoSS came into being.


In the recent reshuffle he is the new Undersecretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mining, despite the fact that he faces numerous corruption allegations including the recently moved motion in the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly in which the Educational Committee Chairperson in parliament accused the Ministry of poor performance, poor scholarships management and many more. He had been retained and only transferred to   the   new Ministry.


Given the above description of his educational background, what will he, Mr. William Ater, do in his new post in the technical ministry of Energy and Mining?   In the next few days Southern Sudan may enter into any contractual relationships with any government or Company on issues of oil and energy. What do you think will he will do? I doubt if he can do anything.


This justifies the fact that the reshuffle of Undersecretaries was misguided and without a vision.


This Ministry of Energy should be stocked with enough petroleum engineers who can do the right job at the right place and not some deadwood whose services are not needed by anybody in Southern Sudan .


Another clear example of the above saga is that of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development; the removal of this popular lawyer was not because he has failed his duties since the work he did in his four years' time while in office can explain.


He led two investigations initiated by the GoSS as the Chairperson of the Committees and these investigations were successful with the first being the outbreak of tribal conflict between the Dinka Bor IDPs and the host Moru tribe of Western Equatoria and the second one being that of the corruption allegations at the Ministry of Finance. His recommendations and findings were the ones with which the GoSS took and based their decisions of sacking the then Governor of Western Equatoria and two undersecretaries at the Ministry of Finance plus other two Directors General of the same Ministry.


He drafted a number of bills which the SSLA has passed into laws, a work which the incoming undersecretary cannot do. The new undersecretary, as a former judge in the bush, the cases he tried are being appealed as we speak and he possesses no bar certificate which is a prerequisite into legal practicing. Such an appointment is of a relative looking for a job for a relative's appointment which is an abomination in public life offices.


Again at the Ministry of Regional Cooperation which is our future Foreign Affairs Ministry, the leading diplomat who is supposed to be playing the role of induction to former Army Chief who is now the Minister has been removed.


This act by the president is seen by many as a killing of diplomatic spirit development in Southern Sudan since the minister, Dr. Marial, was removed and now the Undersecretary.


Another worst part of the scenario is the fact the president seems like he did not consult with his ministers who were supposed to be consulted in relation to whether their undersecretaries should be reshuffled or not. This is because some ministers are defying the transfer and reshuffle of their undersecretaries with the claim that they are the immediate supervisors and always in touch and whether undersecretaries should be transferred or reshuffled should have been brought to their knowledge.


The above are the ones which I opt to write about otherwise the rest is our common knowledge


In conclusion, in the whole world it is common knowledge that Permanent Secretaries which are Undersecretaries in our case, are known to be professionals and they are the ones who can run the Ministries. Such reckless appointments by our president are supposed to be analyzed by the parliament such that these very crucial offices are not abused by appointing incompetent people.


Our president should also desist from taking advice from the likes of Mrs. Awut Deng who is academically bankrupt and has no working experience to manage the civil service in Southern Sudan . In my opinion, she should have been reshuffled in the last Ministers' reshuffle but because Salva Kiir loves appointing people who consult than the consulted, she was maintained.


Anyar Matiop does law at KIU, Uganda and can be reached @ [email protected]

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