Articles and Analysies
Use Your Votes to Liberate Yourselves. By: Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.
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Feb 11, 2010 - 4:08:04 AM

Use Your Votes to Liberate Yourselves.

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.

South Sudan is only few months away from practising its democratic rights to choose who should be its future leaders in the walk towards the referendum for independence, but already the temperatures are running high.

This is the question that each and every south Sudanese citizen needs to ask themselves and it is, “Is south Sudan now liberated? And if not, then why not? And why was other self proclaimed special breeds, blowing off our ear-drums day and night that they have already liberated south Sudan, when they haven’t?

It has been five years that the CPA was signed and south Sudan thereafter lived under a semi autonomous self rule. However it is only a few who handpicked themselves and ruled the land with complete greed and lawlessness. Lands were grabbed in the watch of everyone, and the victims silenced as cowards who are of no use in south Sudan.   They were sadly told to shut or return to where they come from, be it the refugee camps of East Africa or the streets of northern Sudan or the Diaspora.

Did any politician ever thought that this fit only to be cowed citizens will one day be deciding the fate of who while rule the south? But now with one man/woman, one vote, the citizens are for the first time being considered as equals and aright that they must use wisely to reclaim their robbed away self dignity.

With billions of loose money all over the place, some politicians thought that this newly found all season through oil money will never cease, and now they are caught up in the middle of the way completely unprepared to face the voters who were left alone to fetch out for themselves, while the Rocky City was being built at the most unprecedented speed in the entire history of post struggle Africa.

Is everyone who fought the two decades liberation war now liberated? And are they now residing as equals and happy neighbours in one man, on villa in the Rocky City? If you don’t know where the Rocky City is, it is in fact ‘Jebel Kujur (Karak) Mountain’, transformed using the stolen Oil money into privately owned luxurious villas and estates, somewhere in the western part of the majority impoverished town of Juba.

South Sudan has now been divided by Salva Kiir’s regime into a class of well to do people who were allowed a free hand in looting the economy of the country with complete impunity, and another class who still remain condemned and living in a complete state of abject poverty.

We have a class who educate their children in private schools in East Africa, South Africa, Australia, Europe, and the USA , and the class of those you hardly distinguish from the dust that they have to scratch day and night to make a living, while their children attend ramshackle schools, and get hit or miss meals.

It will only be fair if the rich can have the conscience to reflect with and never ever again bother to ask for more favours from the very people that they have already milked dry, dating back to the two decades of wars where only a known few pocked the moneys donated to the movement and the an audited five years of “serve yourself” governance in south Sudan.

After sucking south Sudan bone dry, looted the Nile Commercial Bank  and siphoned away huge sums of Oil money, as if they are managing an enemy economy, with the intent of only enriching themselves and not thinking of any future or accountability day, these shameless self-proclaimed liberators who failed to resist the mere sight of money, are now back to preach that there is an imminent threat to south Sudan’s self –determination project, as if the one that they were looting throughout this past five years is not the economy that would have financed the remaining bit in our struggle towards independence.

Sincerely speaking it becomes very sickening when one hears such statements like.  

 “It is proven that Salva Kiir is incompetent to rule our nation, but at this point, we have no choice but to accept him as our leader for the sake of dealing with NCP who is determined to make our secession as difficult as it could be. Removing the incumbent SPLM’s ruler will be easy to tackle after we achieved our independence.”

The above statement is made by someone who calls himself a separatist and an SPLM supporter obviously and may be other things as well.................................but by declaring that Salva Kiir is incompetent to rule, the rest goes without saying that he is also incompetent to deal with the NCP at any stage. The question here is, “Is Kiir now dealing with the NCP, and how is his dealing a success when he in an incompetent person and a leader for that matter.”

Believe it or not, southerners can sometimes be terribly funny. Why should SPLM in the first place allow itself to be led by an incompetent chairman for all this time if it were a serious party as it claims to be? Secondly, why should SPLM want the south to be led by an incompetent person and leader for that matter if they are really keen for our wellbeing? And why on earth would SPLM want people who have already differed with them in opinion and have gone and formed their separate political parties still to vote for this person they call the incompetent Salva, and thus be part of the conspiracy against the independence of south Sudan. After all countless sound minded sons and daughters of the south were able to see from the first day that Kiir stepped into office?

Let SPLM Oyee who are now only to be counted vote for Salva, and let those he awarded with millions of stolen money reinstall him on the throne to do more damage, otherwise all those mental redeemed true nationalists should refrain from following what is internationally known as  the most corruption ridden system yet to exist.

All concerned south Sudanese should never ever allow themselves to be play a hand in a glove by reinstating a system where unity and separation to them virtually means the same thing as long as they remain in leadership.  

Should all the bombardments we get to rally after Salva Kiir is to guarantee that the SPLM continues to monopolize the south Sudanese politics, then it (SPLM) needs to be a good party in the first place. Right now it is not a good party, because the current rebellion in its ranks with the emergence of well above 700 independent candidates to run in the coming elections is a sign of a party not in terms with its leadership.

If Kiir’s chairmanship was not keeping the internal unity of the SPLM, this shows how weak that leadership is. So how comes that we are still being blindfolded into following him. If he (Kiir) fails to manage his party and no doubt that he has failed the south by his poor leadership, then it is natural that nobody votes for him.

The other crucial issue that the SPLM diehards fail to see or intentionally prefer to ignore is the party’s reputation amongst the grassroots. Was everybody else not been an SPLM diehard? Who has not one time or the other exposed their lives to danger for beings not just frontline fighters but even as low as simple sympathizers in garrison towns like Juba , Malakal, Wau , Obeid, Port Sudan, and the slams of Khartoum? It is now the same people who have become dismayed with the party and its leadership.

Since this very SPLM party is unable to change its repulsive leadership, and it has seen more rebellions throughout its history, however it survived in the past thanks to the jungle laws. Their candidates who have decided to run as independents are pretty aware of the fact that their current move to run in defiance of the party’s nomination lists would have cost them their lives if it were to be in the old bush days. However they must also not forget that, SPLM is one hell of an organisation that doesn’t forget nor forgive, and once you have disagreed with them, then you are already either politically finished in their ranks or you fight your corner.

A party that cannot change its corrupt leadership cannot change any corruption for that matter. This election provides us with the only foreseen opportunity to break ranks with corruption and unlawfulness, as the 2011 referendum will also offer south Sudan its life time opportunity to break off the chains of centuries in bondage.

Leadership for south Sudan can NOT only come from the queue created by the SPLM Political Bureau, where the former commanders take the lead while they continue in their military pants even when they are half a decade in retirement. That queue is created to serve particular club’s interest where law and order exists only to maintain the queue while anything else remain in disarray even if they are reminded or rebuked.

At this juncture there is really no any sound reason to make south Sudanese to rally behind an incompetent leadership of Salva Kiir in the coming elections not even for a single minute.  Believe me even if it comes down to fighting against the north, still the south possess strong soldiers who can lead the fight without Salva Kiir. We have learned the lesson from late Dr. Garang’s untimely death, but of course this time around we will not continue to be under someone who only became a leader out of convenience. We are now going to make responsible choices for our leaders and our destiny.

South Sudan comes above everything and everybody and it deserves a competent leadership for this responsible people who will definitely never disappoint themselves into following the footsteps of corrupted leadership.

The job ahead of us is to part with impunity, weed out corruption, adopt accountability, and make the thieves vomit all the stolen monies. Can Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Godfather of south Sudan’s Neo-Mafia group ever turn against his cronies? The answer is anybody’s guess.

Secondly we need to negotiate for the post 2011 arrangements, where we will be negotiating with the assistance of experts and technicians that don’t need any help from the incompetent Kiir.

Thirdly when the 2011 finally arrives, it will be the happy, inspired, motivated and confident south Sudanese who will walk to the ballot boxes and definitely vote for their independent nation.

It is good to realize that power has been demystified, and even the unemployed, the uneducated, the poor, the hungry and the abandoned can now decide the fate of the most powerful. This is how democracy works.

However those who insist that south Sudan is not yet ready for democracy are saying so simply because they have been caught up on the wrong side of the pitch and they are aware that given the freedom, our people will want to liberate themselves through their own votes leaving no room for anybody to come later on and arrogantly boast of the whole thing. Mind you it is now the ballot and not the bullet and all are equally rated, one man one vote, one independent south Sudan.  

Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD. The Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP) He can be reached at either [email protected] or [email protected]




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