7 Aug 2020

 

Governors Appointed: Clap For Peace On Track, Forget Service Delivery

"Give aspiring politicians the space needed to communicate their ideas on governance, accountability, security and economic prosperity to their countrymen and countrywomen. Otherwise, 2023 (or whenever the 36 months of transition end) will arrive before taking off from the ground".

Governors Appointed: Clap For Peace On Track, Forget Service Delivery
By Philip Thon Aleu
Some South Sudanese, whose relatives or political friends are appointed state governors, must be in jubilant mood today. I don’t want to spoil their day. First things first: Congratulations for having won the trust of the appointing authority (full stop).

Having said that, the appointment of state governors has little or no meaning besides implementing the 2018 peace agreement (the Power Sharing among the parties to R-ARCSS). Therefore, when you congratulate the new governors, do not mention “service delivery.” That is a strange territory and your governor have no in-depth idea what “service delivery” entails.

Well, and as a reminder, delivering service start before one becomes a governor as a matter of fact. S/he first needs to be a member of a constituency he is going to lead. Most, if not all, governors are foreigners in their assigned states. Here is why:
They do not live with the community and their children do not go to local schools. Their children are either in Juba, Kenya or Uganda (if they are very close to home) or far away in America and Europe.

Lack of health centers is not an issue for them, unless someone got sick recently in South Sudan after the coronavirus enforced border closures.

Insecurity in the villages and town suburbs reach them through news – because they sleep in self-contained hotels (having been hotelized).

Lack of scholastic materials in schools is not their problem because if UNICEF do not delivery for the poor kids, their children are chilling somewhere.

Delayed payment of wages and inflation in the market are things they only read about in the newspaper. They do not live through them. Some governors, if not all, do not even know the road linking the states to the national capital because they fly between the two places.

So keep to yourself the ululation of governor Y or Z will deliver services. No way. As the saying goes, “old dogs do not learn new tricks,” unfortunately.

Peace on Track but Why?
The main thing here is that peace is on track. The 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) detailed power sharing among the rival parties. The citizens, whose duty of choosing their leaders is subjugated by the elites, have no say in determining who govern them during the transitional period.

The good news, thus far, is that the peace agreement promised an election sixty days before the end of the transitional period. Though the groundwork for conducting election has not started, there is no exit from crisis of governance without allowing people to have a say in the way they are governed.
For South Sudanese, regardless of their social or political status, who dream of a better country, their main task is to organize themselves for elections by pressing the elites to level the playing field. Give aspiring politicians – citizens of goodwill, the space needed to communicate their ideas on governance, accountability, security and economic prosperity to their countrymen and countrywomen. Otherwise, 2023 (or whenever the 36 months of transition end) will arrive before taking off from the ground.
Peace is on Track
 

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