26 Feb 2020


Avoid Shooting Your Foot With Your Own Mouth

"Some former politicians opposed to the idea of uniting the SPLM speak as if they have nothing in common with FD. Boldness at best, or hypocrisy on steroids?"

By Raphael Abiem
I have never enjoyed jokes about short people. This is because I am barely 5:7 inches in height. Recently, I had my routine yearly medical checkup. The doctor told me I was half an inch shorter. It sounded funny as I was now diagnosed a shortie, at least by my peoples' standards. Soon, I would feel comfortable in the company of the Pygmys.
It wasn't all bad news, at least should I fall, the tumble won't turn disastrous. This teaches me one thing: always remember whom you share traits with before you mock. Their blemishes could be yours and no surprise if you have it in higher doses.
These days, the talk of SPLM uniting has uncovered unlikely critics, among them former politicians and bearers of dashed hopes. Most decried, is the return to Juba of FDs to join the SPLM party. The thought of them, the voice of reason in 2013 re-joining wreckage they once abandoned, registers to some as shame incarnate.
The call for unity is thus summarily dismissed as a coded word for Dinka politicians coming together to lay a hegemonic grip on the country. The rhetoric rises steadily to hit breath-taking righteousness levels, with those speaking it forming halos around their mouths even as they preached political decency to prodigal FDs. Embrace AK 47, they seem to say.
I wonder, since when has hegemony been a sin in our beloved country? Don't we still practice the same in our respective regions? Do the powerful ever go beyond the first degree of relationship when apportioning job opportunities?
I can speak of Abyei because that is where I come from. There, we love our relatives. It is they we entrust sensitive responsibilities; it is our way of ensuring continuity.
However, if I were once in a position of power, I would remember not to be harsh to returnees to power lest I see my own portrait in the screen.
Some former politicians opposed to the idea of uniting the SPLM speak as if they have nothing in common with FDs. Boldness at best. Or is it hypocrisy on steroids? If I were once a Minster in the government of South Sudan, I would be parsimonious with negative depiction of the FDs.
It is when I read their comments that I begin to appreciate SPLM unity may, after all, be a step in the right direction. If I share traits with the Pygmy, even if muted, and I do well not to look askance on them because of their height.
By the same token, former politicians, particularly the Dinka among them, must realise hegemony has not become any worse since they left power. It remains the only practice powerful enough to bring down the country.
A word of advice to the once powerful: let those at the receiving end of power monopoly speak the damning words you speak about unity. At least that will be genuine.
Unity, any unity is music to my ears. We can't have enough of it and may it not be hegemony disguised.


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