In this opinion piece Christine Debu explores the decent from the promise of the liberation struggle to reality of widespread corruption and ethnocentric governance in South Sudan. She urges citizens to stand firmly against corruption.
By Christine Debu
In 1983, Gen. Kerubino Kuanyin Bol shot the first bullet to begin the SPLM/A armed struggle and later on Gen. Garang took over the leadership from him. The ‘Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’ was the political wing of the movement (SPLM) whereas the ‘Sudan People’s Liberation Army’ was the military wing of the movement (SPLA).
The SPLM/A took up arms to fight against the corrupt Khartoum government for some of these reasons; just to enumerate a few:
- The Arabization and Islamization of the South.
- Racial, political and religious discrimination of the South.
- Power, economy and trade were in the hands of the Jalaba (Arabs).
- Low education system in the South.
- The policy of the Arabs were to impregnate as many girls and women in the South so that after some years they will take over the whole of the Sudan.
The points mentioned are all forms of corruption. Let me ask you these questions:
- Who were the SPLM/A liberating us from?
- What were they liberating us from?
- What is now happening on the ground?
- Have the SPLM/A achieved their mission of liberating us from slavery of the Arab domination?
It seems that their level of corruption has shot up in less than six years more than our Colonial masters, the Arabs. The common men did not know the badness of the Arabs but they know now, the badness of their blood brothers, the black Dinkas.
To be truthful, during the struggle the SPLA really killed innocent civilians, giving unnecessary corporal punishments with the least being 50 lashes up to around 200 at a time. Raping girls and committing adultery was the order of the day. In other parts of South Sudan, they used to rape the wives of people and at times use their husbands as mattresses. In Western Bahr el Ghazal, they used to pound children in the mortars and kill their parents, conscripting kids into the army and calling them Red soldiers (Geish Ahmar). Some people were being locked in containers and some became blind. Is this what we understand by the word liberation? Are we really serious? Are we really human beings? Do we really know God? The worst thing is that we call ourselves a Christian Country yet our behaviour is very incompatible with our action and belief. Isn’t that incredible and outrageous? Isn’t that a shame?
Let me at this juncture summarise the ideology and the strategic plan of the Jieng Council of Elders:
- Scholarships: That they should send as many dinkas for studies abroad to study and as soon as they are back, they should replace all the Equatorians. Let the Equatorians not be given opportunity to excel in education.
- They should hold to power for at least the next 200 years. All the Governors are in their pockets implementing their strategies. Col. Bangasi Bakosoro who was not implementing their strategies was requested to be imprisoned. That means all our Governors are bribed people that is why they can’t speak out because they have their share reserved for them in Kiir’s house. Equatoria is finished because of our Governors and political leaders.
- The Jieng council also said that they should impregnate most of the Equatorians, girls or women so that many Dinka children will in Equatoria and thus they will be the only tribe existing in South Sudan. This corruption must be put into an end by the Equatorians. Let the parents look into the issue of the girls who befriend the Dinkas on Facebook and human speaking, and send these girls back into their mothers’ womb. Let them stay there for good.
- Introducing Dinka language to be taught in schools (a plan to be implemented).
Let us have a look at some forms of corruption in Southern Sudan.
Embezzlement of public funds
Embezzlement of public funds without reservation or any sense of remorse for such awful practice. Read about the 22 billions of dollars embezzled while Luri bridge and the roads are killing your voters. If the government is unable to build Luri bridge, this can be done by the 3 governors of Equatoria by mobilizing the people to do something and constructing the bridge.
Cattle keepers have all guns
If in the past killing a human being was not a problem, how worse is it when all have guns now? If there is any scuffle in town or among tribes, the Dinkas would distribute military uniforms, guns and bullets to all their farmers, butchers, relatives and friends who are not soldiers. These are the guns of the nation which are distributed to a particular tribe to do away with other tribes. They are used to kill the voters with. Voters, why should you continue to vote?
Revenue Authority of South Sudan
In 2011, the least amount of money that was collected by revenue Authority in a day was Ushs 27,000,000 (Twenty –Seven million shillings) in a day in all the borders. In Yei or Kaya, a Commander by the end of the day will just walk into the office of Revenue Authority and collect whatever amount he needs on that day and he goes away clean. We have the biggest issue of the roads, nurses or medical technicians, teachers are not paid. These are the people who really work hard but the Government doesn’t recognize them. Mind you that the teachers have got wives, children, motorbikes, and phones etc.… that need also to be fed.
Time is time which is not a big issue in Southern Sudan. When you go to an office and for 3 times they keep on telling you that come tomorrow, just know that there are no competent people in that office. But how did they get there without qualification? An office can be only for a particular tribe and for this matter all from the same family. This is a high level of nepotism. In South Sudan, the bosses have to report to work at 10:00 am or even 12: 00 noon or even not to report to work for 3 days or more and nobody will also be delegated. When they also report to work, they will wait for tea first and a heavy meal in the morning as breakfast. When he or she is already satisfied, he goes to sleep at home or in a sofa chair and nobody has the right to awaken that poor man. As for presidents and Governors, they will organize a rally and ask the people to gather to the freedom square all at 7:00 am. To your surprise, you will find yourself at 4:00 pm and you are unable to go home because the soldiers have sealed the environment lest you go home. Now is this a respect to your subjects who voted you in or you consider them just as idiots? You people are not being fair to your people but corrupt. If you assess the work being done by a South Sudanese in South Sudan, it is just incredible and unjust. At the end of the month, the salary he receives is huge in comparison to the job poorly done or no work at all. Is there any hope for South Sudan if we go at this pace? Rain in South Sudan is a God-Given holidays. No work, no schools etc.. In the Western world, whether it is raining or not, you go to work or go to school and also to the church. This will take us centuries to understand.
Burning of the elephant tusk early this year in Nairobi and South Sudan
African countries are really a problem. We are already very poor but why do our government burn the elephant tusks arrested from the poachers? No any projects the government could think of by selling the ivory tusk and implement it with? By burning the tusk, who is losing, the poachers or the government? Does it mean by burning the tusks, you will prevent the poachers from killing the elephants? The African mind is really too naïve. South Sudan has completely nothing, but why do you follow Kenya? How did we know that they were burning the real tusk? We can just be deceived like insects and become victims in number of ways you can think of.
The UPDF in Nzara and the LRA
It was South Sudan government who allowed the LRA to be based in South Sudan. It was also one of the top leadership of the country that showed a place in Garamba Park to settle there. By the way, settling the rebels in your park, what good are you doing to the National Resources? The government is acting like someone who put his groundnuts in his granary and brought young rats and kept them together in the granary. Will the rats spare his groundnuts? LRA are fighting the Uganda government. Is there any reason for them to kill, amputate, abduct and recruit South Sudanese into their movement? Why is it that the SPLA soldiers did not follow them so much so that the government has to bring the UPDF? Is this not really a political game? I think there is a more deeper, political and mysterious game behind the government of Uganda, South Sudan and the LRA. The South Sudan government was able to send Helicopter gunship and jet Fighter to bomb the Arrow boys with but can’t be used for the LRA. What is the meaning behind this? Secondly, UPDF plane land and take off from Nzara without any of our Security personnel with them. They also fly in and out during the night. Are they really looking for Konyi with aircraft at night? The government is very quick to deploy security personnel to monitor civilians. When people are in the football pitch, the securities are busy that they are monitoring security situation. When somebody is in his room sleeping, they are all around the house monitoring security. Nonsense. You go to monitor Konyi instead of moving around people’s houses. I also tend to believe someone who said that the government allowed the LRA to Western Equatoria so that they can pay for the loans that was taken by the South Sudan government from Museveni. And also that when the LRA come to terrorise a place, of course all local Resident will run from that village and then the UPDF will come with their machine and excavate all the valuable resources they have detected in that location. Go to Uganda now and see how they have developed their country because of South Sudan resources. We are like a weak child who is being bullied in the school every day but cannot react and has no option except to suffer psychologically and becomes retarded.
The people of Nzara are very happy because their town is now busy as the planes land and take off. Let me tell you, your goods are being collected in a smart way. Blind people! When shall we begin to see well? Trees like Bakaikpo and anthill called Babariba are also carried away.
Western world election versus African elections.
Do you know why African leaders don’t want to step down when their term has ended? They develop another system called rigging. They just fill the ballot boxes with their names and send the police with it to drop at the polling stations and election becomes free and fair. A human being is super-glued again on the chair. Follow this story: In 2002 in Kampala, Uganda; a man climbed a mini-bus from the Old Taxi Park heading for Namugongo. On the way, he became sick from diarrhoea and the sphincter muscle could no longer hold things in place. As the mini-bus reached the last station, the entire passenger alighted and went away. He could not come down. New passengers for Kampala climbed and the bus took off. The conductor collected money from all and reached him. He just took money from his wallet and paid. The same thing happened again as the Mini-bus arrived to the old taxi park. He travelled to and fro from Old Taxi Park to Namugongo all day long until when it became dark, and then he came down the mini-bus and went home dirty and exhausted.
This is why African presidents will not like to get off from the chair which they got there but rather cling to it and begin only to change and amend constitutions to suit their presidency. As they have corrupted the place, it is difficult to step down. The only strategy is to become aggressive, look for who is saying what and the security carry their dirty job at night. When you carry this mission, please first consult Judas Iscariot to tell you how he succeeded and how he failed to enjoy the money he got from the Rabbi. Will it be different for you? May be? May be not? Why not?
The description of South Sudan in the Western World is that: “There is no corrupt country in the world than the Newest Country”. My humble request to those of you who think you want to re-liberate us, please put this in mind and don’t make such fatal mistakes again but borrow the sandals of Jesus to guide you. Borrow his hat so that you can inherit his wisdom and your subjects will hold you with great esteem. Try to be popular rather than unpopular. It is good for people to love you the most rather than have thousands of enemies.
Dear people of South Sudan, let us add more outlook on corruption so that the people who will be voted in will know what they are expected to do, when and why? Let us protect our civilians so that your movement can look attractive to them.
May God bless you all.
Christine Debu is a concerned Equatorian who is a frequent commentator on social media.
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