When confusion steps in, then only a genuine change can help.
By: Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.
This far we have reached and the elections remain. It is all about one long journey that our people together walked the walk. Nature has its shortcomings and it can only be misinterpreted by a wicked mind. The people of south Sudan bravely tolerated the hardships of incompetent leadership, and I hope they will not be misled into yet another miserable era like the one they barely survived over the past five years
which followed the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). No war, yet no peace.
When underperformance becomes so common, it is only sensible for people in responsibility to make critical analysis and soul searching. This is better than if they courageously take some time off. The entire SPLM led GoSS is badly in need of such a break. They might have acted out of good faith, though worrying greed can still be seen in some eyes. However whatever made them in the first place to take up those leadership positions, the truth is that they are no longer appealing to average citizen. The charms are since gone and the people out of hunger, misery and destitution are crying for a change.
People of south Sudan want this government changed; you as an individual also want the same thing. No surprise my brothers and sisters that both Dr. Lam Akol and President Salva Kiir Mayardit are currently calling for this very change and in their open campaigns. I have heard with my own ears and read with my own eyes the slogans, ďVote for ChangeĒ, raised by our two presidential candidates all over the local and international media outlets, thanks to technology. But realistically one of these two men must be telling lies. However
should we all run and hide behind nationalism as opposed to being tribalist bigots
and proceed to assume that they are both fair in their judgement and are truly calling for change , then this even sooner than later brings us face to face with the obvious. Here we can only
the incumbent leadership with a new one.
I will never claim to know it all better than everybody out there, but how on earth do you change the status quo. Obviously not by performing some kind of surgical operations or juju-voodoo
charms on either candidates as that is outside the electoral mandate, even if it were to improve anything.
Our votes can only change the faces and persons in offices, but as for their characters, policies, management abilities and credibility, these are all issues that they should have either learnt at their former schools, places of work, political parties or even family homes. We as the poor masses can not build up competent leaders through the mere act of putting papers in the ballot boxes. Leaders are made some elsewhere, and the election season only offers us hopefully the fairest opportunity to pick the good ones and obviously not to do the opposite.
Many observers the worldwide donít believe an iota of the Change thing; president Kiir is seen and heard spreading all over the place. The truth that I see and so do many others, is that voting for Kiir could
only be justified by other reasons ,but ďChangeĒ,
definitely is not a part of it. If Kiir has already from day one of his campaign went out openly to choose his incumbent Vice President Dr. Riek Machar as his running mate and hopefully to continue in office together, can this be called the first step to
this dubious slogan of
change? My dear folks is what you are seeing a change??
The CPA is a document that we have to implement if we are to play by the rules. However the way some southern politicians wanted to remain in offices without conducting elections is an issue of great worry. Our people must never ever give politicians the undeserved option of walking into leadership positions without popular mandate. The credibility of any elections is obviously an issue of concern, but how on earth do you expect a credible act from a source which lacks that very value. In parties where democracy is virtual non existent, as is the case with our grand totalitarian political dinosaurs, you can only be praying for a divine intervention should you
be expecting them
to deliver anything, even if just the
second best that can be acceptably described as credible.
Our incumbent leaders initially chose to implement the CPA in the ways that suited them. Dates were dishonoured. Whole events were carried out with the least of national responsibility. The end result is that, we now have a wrong population registry, we have the wrong constituencies and we are stuck in a political atmosphere where the much anticipated democratic transformation canít find a place. Yet all those in office are aware of a constant fact in Sudanís politics, and it is that,
all previous elections where precisely partially carried out, as the people of the south were all through under a protracted war situation. It was in such partially conducted elections that
todayís opposition strongman, Sadiq al Mahdi made it to become
twice the Prime Minister of the country.
Many so-called gurus of the Sudanese politics still today insist and continue to misname al Mahdiís last term in office as Sudanís second democracy, though the whole lot came about in an election when
vast areas of the south were deployed with bullets and not
ballots. Anyway we shall come to than another time.
Now we are hearing so many confusing statements from the delirious SPLM leadership, none of which is of course new to anybody. The dual SPLM policies of being both a southern party and national one again it is as well as a partner in the government and a leader in the opposition can never be missed even by anyone who has never set foot into a Psychiatry class. The gut feeling is that there is a terrible mental instability in play, somewhere right inside the decision making body of the once greatly applauded movement. One day they want a full boycott, another day they go for half a boycott, the next, it is pull-out from the presidential race. More surprises to come, just keep tuned.
Cdr. Yassir Arman blew off his only historical opportunity to possibility beat the spoiled boy of the al Mahdi family or even together bring under his foot, the Islamic giants of Omer Bashir, Dr. Nafie, Ali Osman TahaÖÖÖÖÖ..etc. However Arman himself
knows why I thought so, and he is not in any way disillusioned with the dislike al Mahdi has for him, nor the open hatred that he has although suffered from the NCP. I will be crazy to envy him for that. Yet Arman shouldnít have used Darfur as an excuse for his withdrawal from the election race.
It is no longer a secret that the NCP is keen to find a settlement to the Darfur issue, but a one that will continue to guarantee the Northern Riveran Arabs the domination of the centre on the Sudanese politics. This can only be achieved in a setting where the south shall no longer have a share in the Institution of the Presidency or any other arrangements of the National Unity Government. If Dr. Khalil Ibrahim is demanding a full control over a united Darfur and even with some appetite for Kordufan, while he also intends a vice presidentís position, you can see now how power ambitious the JEM leader is. With a big Dr. Khalil , a big incumbent Salva Kiir, both Omer Bashir and Ali Osman Taha will for sure find that institution of the Sudanese presidency a very tight room to manoeuvre inside.
When the South is final gone in 2011, the NCP or any other ruler in Khartoum will for sure find some ease in sharing the presidency with Darfur. Again should Darfur remain under the current situation, the need to breakaway in an autonomous state or even the less talked off self determination referendum will surely begin to grow bigger and bigger.
On my side and as someone who holds his African beliefs and heritage at a very high esteem, I continue to believe that our peoplesí blood that continuous to soak the soil so dear at our hearts, this blood has the ability to redeem us and as such I no longer doubt that the day is soon to come .
South Sudan now has a semi-autonomous government to boast of as many are already doing now. But although this government is for real my dear folks, we have a huge load of our own shortcomings that is causing us all this staggering leadership and the bad reputation always associated with it. We have all that it takes to build up our capacities in the different fields, but of course we can only achieve these through an accountable and responsible government.
Those we have now in office are our own people. We do not disown them, but their performance over the past five years has never been satisfactory even by the most primitive standards. Now Kiir seems to say some sense when he asks for ďVote for ChangeĒ. That change can only come through the ballot and putting a new face in office.
When confusion steps in, then only a genuine change can help. And the more we hang with the confused, the more we become confused ourselves .If it was from the northern opposition or the SPLM/northern sector of Amum and Yassir or
the main southern one of Salva and
Riek , the confusion they have so far created is indeed of the
greatest magnitude. We can only remain in this confusion if choose to, which explains how confused we have become. Or if we are still OK, there exists a window to salvation. There is a real chance in these elections to quit with confusion. Vote change.
ďChanges do not roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for freedom. A man canít ride you unless your back is bentĒ Martin Luther King
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). The party that stands for the independence of South Sudan. Can be reached at either
[email protected] or [email protected]