Challenges facing Southern Sudanese
By Hillary D. Lukudu
July 24, 2006 — The people of Southern Sudan had an absolute belief and perception that the Sudan’s People Liberation Movement/Army was their party and military that could rescue them from the tyranny of the totalitarian and Islamic government that had been killing butchering people for many years, unfortunately the movement’s few elites who have their self-centred and evil agendas as the president of America calls them “the excess of evil and people who are against development and the advancement of freedom and democracy in the world” distorted everything because of their corrupt nature. Southern Sudanese are facing many challenges from the leadership who are entrusted with powers to deliver to the people. There are critical issues, instance, the following:
Implementation of the CPA. Some leaders in the SPLM/A are losing credibility and trust due lack of seriousness in implementation of the CPA. They become so reluctance with the little money that comes across them and they grab them without mercy and abusing what they fought for. They become unconscious of reality and always act against their conscience that sent them to the bush to participate in the liberation. When people start focusing on money issues, then they turn to forget and ignore the implementation of the Comprehensive peace agreement signed. The question one asks is: would they achieve enjoyment and happiness without implementing the CPA or doing what is appropriate? If few elites are enjoying while the majority are suffering, can one call these people true liberators? There was a man who had money and had the potentiality and capability to do something constructive and concrete to his family, relatives, friends and nation, so the man consciously knew very well that, if he invested his money on development he will gain and others too will benefit from the project that he was about to design. The man had knowledge and skills and he was able to perceive reality. He thought to himself, what should he do with the money? The man reached a final decision based on the welfare of others. He was not self-focused and self-centred. He built colleges in the community and the colleges helped the whole community in the advancement of knowledge and in educating the general public. In contrast to the above little story, we have leaders who always carry their money a broad and misuse them there instead of building a school for the children so that we can eliminate ignorance and tribalism in our society.
Practicality of the vision of the Movement. The citizens are worried of our leaders, because they just talk instead of doing what is necessary to the community. They failed to implement what they put forward. They are excellent in explaining their vision and while putting good structures but the problem come from the practical part. Why is it that, Africa is the last continent under-develop when you compare it with rest of the other continent? Is it because we (black) talk a lot? Is it because we have corrupt nature? Is it because of poverty? Or we really lack leaders? A leader must direct people by showing example to the followers. Each person in an organization has the following:
Interests, Capabilities, Habits, Beliefs, Skills, Personal goals, Motivated by different things, Personal agenda.
Leadership is a complex phenomenon involving the leader, the followers, and the organization. Leadership is the strategic concern of any organization. Leaders have to communicate their vision, strategies, and expectations to followers. Equipped with the right knowledge and skills, the leader fortunately has a number of tools with which to perform the function of leading subordinates in the organization. Without leadership, organizations stagnate, lose their way, and eventually become irrelevant and close down. Management also gives direction to the organization’s activities so that all its resources are deployed as effectively as possible in order to realize its goals. Leadership is an elusive concept. It involves elements such as
Transparency and accountability. Transparency means that decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations. It also means that information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement. It also means that enough information is provided and that it is provided in easily understandable forms and media. Accountability is a key requirement of good governance. Not only governmental institutions but also the private sector and civil society organizations must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders. Who is accountable to whom varies depending on whether decisions or actions taken are internal or external to an organization or institution. In general an organization or an institution is accountable to those who will be affected by its decisions or actions. Accountability cannot be enforced without transparency and the rule of law. Our leaders should understand that people needs a transparent and accountable government and a government that means its words by deed. Leaders should be held accountable for their practices and actions. Experts with qualified skills and knowledge. Do we need experts with skills or people who have heart for serving the community? Sometimes we have people with appropriate skills and knowledge but they are corrupt and they practice nepotism. Sometimes, we have people with skills and knowledge but they are not given chance to utilize their knowledge because the chances are given to unskilled individuals and that leads to corruption, lack of delivering to the community.
Dissemination of what is happening to the grass-root and more specifically the youth who are the students and the future leaders. There is oceanic gap between the Students in the Universities and the leaders in general. There is no mutual understanding. Sometimes, one wonders and starts asking the credibility of our people who claim to be leaders. How can one leads without engaging universities students. There must be monthly briefing from the Southern leaders regarding what is taking place in the South in general, because it concerns the youth the most. They should be given that latitude or freedom to express their opinions and desires according to their expectations. Youth or students precisely are worried of our leaders, because their style of governing is questionable due to the practices that are absolutely detrimental to the development of Southern Sudan. Dissemination of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to the grass-root is crucial at this delicate and sensitive time. It requires hearts that focused towards unity of people in Southern Sudan.
Absorption and assimilation of the people who were not in the main stream of the liberation because the movement must be inclusive instead of practicing exclusiveness. How can Southerners gather together to defeat the policy of divide and rule? It is the role of the SPLM as a party to orient and inculcate certain norms, morals and values that motivate and encourage people to work together for the unity of Southern Sudanese regardless of what party you are from. It is paramount and imperative to tell people that, we are all liberators, because each an individual has contributed for the liberation whether in form of teaching, training or military. We all played different roles in the advancement of our liberation. We must not label people, because categorizing people creates conflict and division.
Alteration of the attitudes and behaviour of the people who have wrong mentality towards the people who did not participate in the liberation militarily. First and foremost, we need to understand this mysterious concept called liberation. What is liberation? Is the concept liberation achievable from the African context due to our selfish desires? Limited understanding of the concept due to the presupposition based on tribal perception? Some people use the words or phrase “we liberated you or we fought or you were with the Arabs so you are not entitled to have anything. These are mechanisms use by people who don’t understand the meaning of the concept liberation to sub-guide their individual interests while hindering core and fundamental interest of the people of Southern Sudan. We need to work hard to eliminate and eradicate this narrow understanding of liberation. It has a repercussion which is detrimental to our party and movement. Politically speaking, it will reduce support of our movement as a party. These wrong elements need to be exposed to the general public so that we know them. “The solution to the Sudanese problem is to create a stable Sudanese state, with a self-sustaining economy, and a stable, inclusive government, in which all different ethnic groups, different tribes, different religious groups agree upon a form of governance, and are equal stakeholders, with equal opportunities, a state in which they are able to co-exist in harmony and development” John Garang. What the Late Garang says is applicable precisely to us in Government of Southern Sudan. How can we achieve this stable state that is inclusive since some evil elements claimed to be the only liberators. People are employed according to the criteria based on tribal line. Can nepotism bring inclusiveness? At this critical juncture we need to unite and work hard to eliminate our differences so that we prepare for the election that is around the corner. Can these monsters understand the implications of the words they are uttering with regard to election? The struggle for justice, freedom, equality and dignity of our marginalized people in the Sudan has been violated by the few architectures who design the whole program.
Injections of the budget and money to the states so that each state should implement what they intend to do without hindering them with wrong policies which are against development. Each of the ten states in South Sudan have different programme that need to be implemented but they are hindered by policies and lack of finance. The constitution of each state be formed so that they can be able to work accordingly without any interference from the other states. Independence must be maintained.
Employment of the people. What criteria do we use to employ people? Is it based on skills and knowledge or it is based on tribal line, or know who. We need to employ people according to their credentials so that they can be in the position of delivering effectively.
First and foremost, Southerners need to see changes and transformation in every area and the basic necessities should be given. People need clean water, electricity, hospitals, schools according to the required standard facilities, and communication facilities. We are tired of waiting since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed. Many things seem to be the same like before.
Titus 1: 16
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good”
H.D. Lukudu, who is based in Southern Sudan, is a graduate of North-West University, South Africa.