Kiir's Inaugural Address Outlines Wideranging Priorities

"Government officers who do not know enough to know that our real wealth is in the renewable natural resources of South Sudan: land, water and forests and in the industry of our people: farmers, herdsmen and fishermen, shall have a short life in my government."

 

Salva Kiir Mayardit (Gurtong's photo)

GEN. SALVA KIIR MAYARDIT
PRESIDENT
GOVERNMENT OF SOUTHERN SUDAN (GOSS)
JUBA, 21ST MAY, 2010

Your Excellency, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda,
Your Excellency, Hon Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President of the Republic of Kenya,
Your Excellency, Ustaz Ali Osman Taha, Vice President of the Republic of the Sudan,
Hon Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, former President of the Republic of Kenya,
Honorable Speaker and Members of Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly,
Representatives of Governments and Inter-governmental Organizations,
Fellow Citizens,

1. Today is the end of an era and the beginning of a new page in the history of Southern Sudan. By the oath I have just solemnly taken I shall, first and foremost, rededicate myself to the ideals that inspired our struggle from its inception in the early 1980s. Those who made believe that those ideals were dead and buried were up to a big surprise when the people of Southern Sudan came out in droves to endorse and give credence to them. The spirit of our struggle is, therefore, to stay.

Twenty seven years ago, together with our Valliant leader John Garang de Mabior and alongside stout–hearted SPLM/A leaders, we launched a struggle unlike all struggles that preceded it. It was a struggle guided by clarity of vision, coherence of mission statement and robustness of modes of delivery. We were not, not at all, fighting for the requirements of the hour but also for the demands of the future.

In the course of that struggle we lost thousands of heroes and heroines, not least among them was my dear brother, John Garang de Mabior, who has been immortalized by his accomplishments and the ultimate sacrifice he paid in the quest for a dignified life for our masses. Our martyrs did not fall in vain, for they made our past heroic, our present great and our future full of promise. It now remains for us – the living – to complete the magnificent work they had commenced. May I ask you all to stand for a minute of solemn silence in proud memory of all our fallen heroes and heroines.

Fellow Citizens,

The leadership of nations is a relay race in which the baton of power moves from one leader to another. Leaders are not perpetual; only the people remain to the end of time. The supreme duty of leaders is to serve their people and not just to rule. As the man whose destiny is to carry the standard in this relay, I wish to assure our people that I shall entirely dedicate myself to that supreme duty and deliver to them what they expect from their leader.

What do our people expect from a leader whom they charge with trust? Our people want their leaders to keep them united, for united we stand, divided we fall. That I promise to do.

Our people want peace for without peace there shall neither be good governance nor development. That I commit myself to do.

Our people want freedom so that every citizen walks tall in his or her own country. That I undertake to do.

Our people want better living for themselves and better future for their children. That I shall endeavour to do in earnest.

2. A government that is not capable of ensuring those basic needs to its people brings disrepute to itself and shall be a disgrace to the country and people. That I shall not allow to happen under my watch.

Fellow Citizens,

In the course of the speech I delivered at the launch of my electoral campaign I said that “no self–respecting leader should promise people things he could not deliver”. That was why I enumerated a score of goals without whose achievement the future our people are worthy of shall not be realized. Those were not empty and vain promises; to me, they are firm engagements. It is, therefore, appropriate and fitting to restate those goals and reaffirm my commitment to engage all my energies to achieve them.

1. Rural Transformation:
I promised you that I shall allocate a percentage of oil revenues to rural transformation. One of the first tasks to be undertaken by my government will be to seriously explore the feasibility of such an action against the backdrop of available financial resources as well as extra financial demands that the preparation for the Referendum early next year will inevitably impose upon us.

In 2004 - a year before the formation of the SPLM–led government in Southern Sudan - we adopted a development plan entitled: Strategic Framework for War – To – Peace Transition. The centre piece of that plan is TAKING TOWNS TO RURAL AREAS of the country.

Regrettably, for the last five years, our achievement in this regard was, if at all, minimal. I do not need to elaborate on the reasons, suffice it to say that the demands of security, which is an indispensable pre-requisite to keeping the CPA on track, have deprived us of the financial resources required to expedite the process of translating the goal of Taking Towns to Rural Areas into concrete reality. As a result our rural populace kept gravitating to urban centers and thus putting more pressures on the limited urban and suburban services and amenities.

The migration from rural to urban areas also divested the rural areas of a relatively able workforce. From now on, Fellow Citizens, that trend shall be stopped.

Rural transformation with a view to taking towns to the rural areas shall be the number one priority in my economic agenda. Every department in my government shall, therefore, be guided in its performance and operations by this priority of priorities: TAKING TOWNS TO RURAL AREAS.

Government officers who do not know enough to know that our real wealth is in the renewable natural resources of South Sudan: land, water and forests and in the industry of our people: farmers, herdsmen and fishermen, shall have a short life in my government.

We also have to wean ourselves away of the habit of depending on the bonanza of oil revenues. Nations cannot be built on windfall profits. Consequently, the portion of oil revenues that may be dedicated to rural transformation shall be devoted, in real terms, to that transformation. When I say in real terms, be sure that I do not expect those resources to go for building bureaucratic empires, travel abroad or air conditioned vehicles. They are to be utilized for uplifting the life of the rural populace and raising their capacity to better till the land, upgrading agriculture and animal husbandry practices, ensuring better marketing and distribution facilities for rural produce.

2. Education:
Training and Scientific Research: In this day and age an uneducated society is a doomed society. Countries which had made it through the life time of a generation were only able to do that by giving the pride of place to job–oriented education, to domestication of technological innovation and to ensuring the right balance between academic and technical education, on the one hand, and vocational training, on the other.

Truly, our society needs engineers, doctors, agronomists but it also needs competent mechanics, masons, plumbers and farm technicians. The cult of work and principles of good citizenship must be ingrained in the minds of our youth from early age and there is no better way to do this than through education.

In the meantime, our on–going programmes for the rejuvenation of education in Southern Sudan shall be accelerated with a view to ensuring free universal basic education to all children, closing the gender gap in our schools by 2020, building capacity of our teachers and physical and technical rehabilitation of our universities.

3. Health:
It shames us all that our citizens are still prone to endemic diseases such as malaria, bilharzias and kalazar as well as the scourge of HIV / AIDs. Child mortality rates in Southern Sudan are among the highest in the world (1700 maternal deaths per 100,000 deliveries and 250 child deaths per 1000). If this does not shame us, nothing else will.

Serious efforts, therefore, shall be made to ensure drastic curtailment, if not elimination, of those afflictions. In particular, I wish to reiterate my commitment during the elections’ campaign to make this year the year of combating maternal and child mortality rates so that by 2015 no woman shall again sit helpless watching her newly– born infant wither away on her lap.

We shall also continue with our efforts to enhance curative medicine facilities in urban and suburban areas, while stepping up the implementation of our programmes on primary health care and sanitation. To this end I shall do my utmost to enlarge primary health care to cover the whole of Southern Sudan in the coming five years and endeavour to guarantee universal access to clean water within the coming ten years. To achieve our ambitious programmes on health and education we must endeavour to double our expenditure in the two areas as a percentage of the GDP.

4. Physical Infrastructure:
Despite commendable efforts by GoSS to carry out its Roads Network Programme (RNP), both in inner cities and inter–cities, we still have more to do. South Sudan, whose area is the size of that of France and Belgium combined, did not have a single asphalted road when we took over government, save for few roads in Juba. That surely was the way it was since time immemorial.

Our plan is ambitious. It is to achieve multiple road connectivity: interstate in Southern Sudan; between North and South Sudan and between Southern Sudan and its neighbours to the East and South. In this respect South Sudan may be the hub of the transafrica road network linking the North of the continent to its South and East to West.

This road network, however, shall not be meaningful to the majority of our people if it is not accompanied by feeder roads that link our hinterland to markets both within and outside Sudan.

5. Public Service:
GoSS has inherited a bloated civil service that weighed heavily on our government’s budget. With nearly 70% of our annual budget going to payroll, the situation is becoming increasingly untenable. Our Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development has been engaged, with the help of development partners, in a public service reform that aims at downsizing the service and vertically enhancing its capacity and efficiency.

The civil service we inherited has been packed with ghost employees. That alone makes it neither civil, nor a service. Service demands competence while civility entails awareness of the public good. Drastic measures are, therefore, needed to exorcise the ghosts and build capacity of our public service at all levels.

Consequently, I shall see to it that in no more than one year that the reform be completed. GoSS cannot afford to continue being a provider of sustenance to ineligible, and often non–existent recipients.

6. Peace, Security and the Rule of Law:
As I alluded to in the beginning, our people need peace: peace in their homes and luaks; peace in their communities and within communities, peace in the work place and peace in the streets. In the last five years peace was often disturbed in Southern Sudan, as a result of intrigues from without, and plots from within. In effect, Southern Sudan was besieged from without by elements who wanted to see our land rent asunder and, from within, by greedy politicians whose only purpose in life became the fomentation of conflict between one ethnic group and the other or setting up one community against another.

Now that the dust is settled after the elections, I hope that both have learned that Southern Sudanese know who their leaders are and the high place they reserve for their unity. Those who wilfully refuse to pay heed to the people’s verdict shall pay dearly for their rashness.

Nevertheless, our people had never lowered their guard. Traditional leaders, law–enforcement agencies and the people at large stood firm against the fomenters of trouble. In this respect, they have shown the same resilience which they have exhibited during the struggle to thwart all attempts to divide them or disturb peace and disrupt tranquillity in their communities.

I would also like to applaud their cooperation during the disarmament and I take this opportunity to inform you of the government efforts to collect light arms from the population as per CPA provisions. The prevalence of arms in the hands of unauthorized persons poses an imminent threat to peace. In this regards, the SPLA has collected to date some 22,838 various arms including RPGs, PKMs and rifles. I shall see to it that the SPLA continue with those efforts until the whole of Southern Sudan is free of illegal weapons.

The Government of Southern Sudan shall continue to provide our traditional leaders with all the support and means they need to ensure peace in their communities. It shall guarantee that our regular forces are furnished with the best training; tools and equipment that shall enable them carry out their sacred duty.

As far as relations between Southern Sudanese living adjacent to the Misseriya and Reizeigat Arab tribes are concerned, I would seize this opportunity to reiterate the commitment of GoSS to the principles of inter–communal peace and unhindered access to pastures and water points in Southern Sudan for their livestock. Our brothers in those tribes will certainly recall that I have never passed up an opportunity without repeating to them these assurances.

Unfortunately, some misguided elements believe that the sole means to securing pastures and water for their livestock in Southern Sudan is violence. Such an approach is totally unnecessary and dangerous.

It is, therefore, high time that those who cherish peace among our neighbour to the North accept our assurances of free and unhindered access for their livestock into Southern Sudan.

May I also advise those brothers to disassociate themselves completely from elements in their midst, or from outside, who want to exploit pastoralists’ concerns as an excuse to forcibly occupy the territory of Southern Sudan in pursuit of a sinister political agenda that is certainly not theirs.

The SPLM and GoSS shall remain uncompromising in their stance to shun all forms of violence in the management of relations between the South and those two tribes. Instead all should opt for dialogue and peaceful co – existence along the North – South border.

Fellow Citizens,
There is another aspect to peace. Peace, in the end, is a state of mind. Our constitution has embedded within it inalienable rights to citizens and other persons who live in our land. Those rights cannot – and should not – be infringed upon by any individual or government authority. They are part and parcel of the ideals for which we struggled. High up the ladder of those ideals is respect for the rights of all.

Consequently, I want to say loud and clear that I shall not tolerate any infringement on the Bill of Rights. I shall also guarantee the independence of the Judiciary of Southern Sudan so that it jealously protects those rights. And I call upon Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission and all appropriate civil society organizations to be wide awake to such infringements, if they ever take place.

7. Women and Youth:
Women’s role in society should never be underestimated. They rear our infants. They care for our children. They maintain cohesion in our families. Our party was a pace–setter when it guaranteed to women a 25% representation in our legislatures without debarring them from contesting elections for the remaining 75% of the seats.

In the launch of my elections campaign, Fellow Citizens, I said that this was a very small recompense to women who still continue to be the marginalized of the marginalized. For that reason I promised that, during my term of office, I shall work to ensure raising women representation in constitutional posts in my government (advisors, ministers and heads of commissions) to 30 %. That may sound to some an overly ambitious target, but by that promise I stand. In addition, I call upon the cabinet to ensure that this ratio is progressively attained in positions of departmental undersecretaries and directors general before the end of my term in office.

Furthermore, I shall not settle for less than the full implementation of, and compliance with, all international and regional conventions relating to women.
Youth, on the other hand, had throughout the struggle animated our strife for liberty. Today they are at the forefront of a different war: the war for consolidating peace, building party structures from scratch and contributing to the development of our country. Their spirit of entrepreneurship is there to see in the market place.

Youth of Southern Sudan, I shall never abandon you. Relevant government departments are hereby called upon to ensure to you what you have been denied through years of suffering and destitution. You were denied education and training. That shall no longer be the case. You were denied recreational facilities. That shall not continue to be the case. You were denied employment opportunities and despite the lack of a robust private sector which is the key generator of jobs, the government will ensure that youth are employed. Within our new economic development plans, employment opportunities shall be open to you in major and middle–size agricultural and industrial schemes, in local and foreign private businesses and in specifically tailored projects to be funded by mini–finance arrangements.

I, therefore, dare our youths to seek employment in those sectors, not only in government offices. Nations are built by its enterprising sons and daughters and not by those who sit aback waiting for remunerations doled out by government.

8. Reconciliation:
Our people, Fellow Citizens, have suffered throughout decades the pains of dissension and antagonism. Some of those pains were self–inflicted. During my last five years in office I left no stone unturned to reconcile our people so that Southern Sudan be a better place for all of us to live in and for future generations to be proud of. That spirit shall continue to guide me in my new term of office. I shall never allow myself to go into history as the leader who missed a chance to keep Southern Sudanese united and at peace with themselves.

I repeat what I said at the launching of the elections campaign: “Let us heal our wounds. Let us preach harmony and peaceful co–existence. Let us forgive one another”. I, therefore, call upon all our society leaders: political, traditional and faith – based to join me in this noble endeavour.

With the elections over, let us not be dominated by the elation of victory. For while democracy dictates that the will of the majority prevails, wisdom and charity of spirit counsel us that a minority, however small, should not be banished or taken for granted. That is why I have decided to have a place in my government for other parties that share the broad principles and values that guide us.

9. War Veterans, Heroes, Heroines and Victims:
Fellow Citizens, if we are here today, relishing a moment of glory that could not have been the case without the sacrifices of our martyrs, war veterans, heroes, heroines, and the thousands of our men and women who had the courage to offer their lives for a larger cause: the cause of our people. No material recompense shall be big enough to pay back for the sacrifices of those noble men and women.

However, we are under duty to show minimum appreciation to the sacrifices of those priceless heroes and heroines. Thanklessness is discreditable. I have therefore decided:

First: To entrust the cause of War Veterans to the Ministry of SPLA Affairs, which shall be called from now on Ministry of SPLA and Veterans Affairs. I expect the Ministry to come up with well–thought plans that shall cater for the needs of our veterans.
Second: I instruct the Ministries of Education and Labour, Public Service & Human Resource Development to give priority in education, training and employment opportunities to widows and orphans. I also instruct the two ministries, alongside the Commission on War-disabled, Widows and Orphans, to formulate and implement policies for upgrading the capacity of those of the above groups who lack education or training to make them fit for the labour market.

Third: I reiterate my election’s promise to establish a special fund, under my supervision, to cater for the needs of those groups. I appeal to our development partners to contribute to this effort.

Fourth: I shall work out a retirement package to SPLM/A historical leaders to meet the needs of those selfless leaders who sacrificed everything for the cause of the people for over two decades. For those of them who are no longer with us, their families shall be entitled to the same benefits.

10. Integrity in Public Service:
Government’s, Fellow citizens, exercise power in the name of the people and manage public assets as custodians on their behalf.

But governments are as good as those who run them. For that reason I have been reminding public officers that I shall not tolerate misuse of public authority and assets. To that end, I have wasted no opportunity to say that I shall have zero–tolerance to corruption.

Zero–tolerance to corruption, however, is not only a badge to be attached to the lapels of our jackets. It is a culture. It is an ethical commitment. It is a behaviour. It is a professional conduct. No matter what I say, or what our high–minded Anti–Corruption Commission does, shall make things change. Change must come from within those who are entrusted with the custody of public assets. We all know by now that there are some rotten eggs in our government basket. And we know what rotten eggs do to the wholesome ones.

It is for this reason, Fellow Citizens, that I am determined to put the whole weight of my office behind the commendable work of the Anti– Corruption Commission.

I shall also appoint an Advisor on Integrity in Public Office to undertake regular monitoring and evaluation of performance and behaviour in government institutions. The person assigned this job shall propose to me polices that promote good governance, eliminate abuse of public authority, strengthen management standards to ensure quality service and identify loopholes in the laws and procedures that may lead to abuse authority so as to seal off these loophole.

In the meantime the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs shall, on regular basis, ensure that the decrees I have passed relating to management of public office, extravagance in use of government assets and travel abroad are complied with.

Moreover, Fellow Citizens, I take advantage of this opportunity to remind all concerned about certain constitutional obligations. Article 121 (1) requires that all executive constitutional post holders, Justices and Senior civil service officials at all levels of Government shall, upon assumption of their office, make confidential declarations of their assets and liabilities, including assets and liabilities of their spouses. For those already in service the timelines for the submission of those declarations set by the Anti–Corruption Commission must be adhered to fully. As for new appointees to office, declarations must be submitted within a maximum of three months from the date of appointment.

Furthermost, I wish to remind all of Article 121(2) of our Constitution that requires that none of the categories of public officers mentioned above shall practice any private profession, transact commercial business or receive emoluments from any other employer during the tenure of their employment. I expect nothing short of full abidance by those directives.

11. Protection of the Environment:
Fellow Citizens, for the last five years action on the protection of our natural environment has fallen short of our aspirations. Environmental Protection was often tucked into different department as an add–on. I know of no country which needs to be heedful to the protection of its natural environment than Southern Sudan.

We have moist forests including rare species such as teak, mahogany and ebony. We have environmental sites that are registered as sites of international importance protected by international Conventions such as the SUDD. We have emerging threats to our fauna and flora from the petroleum industry. We have a wide–range of wildlife species. We have growing urban centres that are already suffering from the hazards of non – disposal of waste and lack of sewage. Environmental protection, therefore, must be a matter of concern to GoSS, State institutions and municipal authorities.

Moreover, keeping clean and protecting the environment is also critical for our health because more than half of the health ailments that affect our people will be removed or reduced.

12. CPA and Referendum:
How many times, Fellow Citizens, have I told you that without the CPA neither would Sudan have enjoyed the relative peace and stability it is now enjoying, nor would the right of the people of Southern Sudan to determine their future been acknowledged and guaranteed nationally, regionally and internationally. That is why we set great store by CPA implementation.

In the past five years, together with our CPA partner, the National Congress Party (NCP), we fulfilled many of the obligations imposed on us by the Agreement. Still, cardinal issues remain to be resolved. And resolved they must be since we shall never allow ourselves to be driven back to war. Those issues are:

(i) The consummation of all measures relating to the self–determination referendum on the 9th of January 2011. Not one day more or one day less. The credibility of the Two Parties to the Agreement and CPA Co–signatories shall be at stake were this to happen. But I promise that such serious breach of the Agreement shall never be allowed to happen, come what may.

(ii) Peace, as I told you on the occasion of the 4th Anniversary of the Agreement at Malakal, is “a higher national interest that must transcend political parties boundaries”.

Consequently, both Parties to the Agreement are under duty to see to it that full democratic transformation is accomplished so that the ground for political action by all political forces is level. Without this there shall be no political stability in Sudan.

(iii) Peace in the two areas of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan shall only be ensured if and when the popular consultation process for the people of the two areas is realized in the manner prescribed by the CPA and agreed upon by the Two Parties. Together with our Partner we shall ensure that those arrangements are brought to fruition.

(iv) Political decision on the delineation of the North-South border must be completed and be immediately followed by actual demarcation within the next three months that is in good time before the referendum.

(v) The CPA was envisaged as a framework Agreement for resolving all conflicts in our country. Undoubtedly, CPA has provided inspiration, both in form and content, to the Abuja Agreement on Dar Fur and Asmara Agreement on Eastern Sudan.

Nevertheless, we should never underestimate the special nature of the Darfur conflict. Peace, Fellow citizens, shall never be comprehensive if the conflict in Darfur is not comprehensively resolved by addressing its underlying root causes. The SPLM shall continue its efforts with the Dar Fur parties to the conflict and other national, regional and international players to put an end to that conflict.

13. National Unity:
Fellow Citizens, the issue of unity has suddenly and dramatically shot up the political ladder of national priorities. I do not wish to expose myself to any hysteric accusations of callously disregarding this critical issue. Therefore, I shall endeavour to make a few comments on this vital matter.

Ever since the CPA was signed, and indeed long before that, the SPLM has been unequivocal on how Sudan’s unity could be best maintained. The entire system that has continued to underpin the Sudanese state from the dawn of independence continues to decay and is presently at an advanced stage of rotting completely. The debilitating wars that have been raging at different times between the centre and the peripheries of the South, West and East are simply manifestations of that disintegration process that can only be halted and reversed if the faulty foundations of the Sudanese state are corrected in keeping with its objective realities.

When the Naivasha Peace Accords were concluded, it was our sincere hope and fervent desire that the signatories to the CPA would work hand in hand to make unity an attractive option to Southern Sudanese, come the referendum. Genuine processes of political, economic and social reforms should have been made to repair the seriously damaged pillars upon which the Sudanese state is erected and erase grievances of the past. This endeavour has not come to pass. Instead, our partners the NCP were not in a hurry to take concrete measures to keep Sudan united. The entire interim period has, thus, been allowed to lapse without serious and meaningful actions to achieve that goal.

Now that time has practically run out, a sense of panic seems to be setting in as people realize that the battle for unity is about to be lost. We gave our prescription for genuine unity ever since the SPLM was founded in 1983 but this was never heeded.

Furthermore, we had thought that the CPA’s own inbuilt mechanisms to initiate national dialogue on how the political arrangements enshrined in the CPA could be reviewed and improved upon with a view to enhancing the prospects of keeping the country a single political entity. The Power Sharing protocol of the CPA which calls for a National Constitutional Review process precisely afforded such an opportunity but this was conveniently ignored because our partners had other fish to fry. So although we declared ourselves willing and ready in 2005 to begin the search in earnest for attractive unity, there was simply no partner at the time that was in a hurry to pursue this project.

Also, when we raised a red flag in October 2007 by suspending our participation in GONU, our partners failed to apprehend the seriousness of the situation. Instead the matrix for implementing what we had agreed upon in December the same year was conveniently let to pass.

The NCP has every right to re-launch action to make unity attractive and indeed it remains the duty of the SPLM to facilitate the attainment of that objective, as best as it can, notwithstanding the fact that we have almost run out of time. As I alluded to earlier, the SPLM and GoSS are not prepared to countenance the holding of the Referenda beyond the life – span of the CPA.

Fellow Citizens,
Those are the goals I have set for my new government. They are achievable goals, but only when those who are charged with responsibility in government share them with me. Accordingly, I expect from my cabinet, advisors and GoSS independent institutions nothing less than full commitment to this agenda and dedication to see it through in the coming five years and beyond.

Fellow Citizens,
In the last five years, we have not only grown in power but also in responsibility. Five years is a long enough time for any leader to assess and evaluate the performance of his government. Those five years, as I have enumerated earlier, were stressful and challenging in every field of action. GoSS, with minimal experience in governance, inherited wreckage and destitution. Nevertheless, it succeeded in restoring normal life to a country that was denied normalcy for over two decades.

But to be honest with you, we have underachieved in some areas, mainly in delivering to our people the dividends of peace for which they have been eagerly awaiting. While I take credit for the achievements of my former government, I am also obliged to share responsibility for the under-achievements. I may have gone wrong through defects of judgment: judgment on issues or men. But I know that our people with their innate sense of fair judgment esteem leaders who recognize their mistakes; more so those who seek to correct such mistakes. That is what I am determined to do.

With this in mind, Fellow Citizens, I have decided to overhaul government structures with a view to making them more result–driven, competent and increasingly accountable to our people. To this end, I shall issue a number of decrees to restructure government beginning with my Office and that directly under me: the Cabinet. The purpose of this restructuring is to:

(i) Put an end to imagined conflicts over zones of influence in government. Ours is one government united in purpose and objectives and led at the top by one constitutionally–empowered leader. That is what our constitution says and that is how all and sundry should understand.

(ii) Put an end to all factionalism within the government. To be sure, I shall call to attention, he or she, who behaves otherwise.

(iii) Streamline government operations in order to ensure prompt delivery of services to our people and remove all bottlenecks that impede that delivery.

(iv) Regularly appraise government plans with a view to assessing their viability in achieving the goals set for us by the CPA, Interim Constitutions and my agenda.

(v) Build capacity in all public institutions and private enterprises. South Sudan needs able ministers, but it also needs adept parliamentarians, especially in leading positions in our legislature. It needs competent department heads. It needs bankers, entrepreneurs and captains of the industry. The emerging culture that the only post worth aspiring for is a ministerial post shall, if it continues, devitalize Southern Sudan. Those who do not care for the revitalization of their country are of no use to public life.

Fellow citizens,
In the last few weeks, I have been bombarded by unseemly requests coming from communities, rather from the elites of those communities, seeking ministerial jobs. Our government has different arms: legislative, executive, administrative and judicial. In appointing or nominating persons to positions in the different arms of government, I was ever conscious to ensure equitable representation for all our regions and communities without losing sight of competence.

However, when people are appointed to high government jobs as ministers, judges or undersecretaries they are not so appointed to represent their own ethnic communities or geographic regions but to serve the general interest of the public.

Finally, let me venture to tell you what I believe to be the genesis of this debilitating culture. For over two decades, we have managed to create an egalitarian society in which warriors were only distinguished by their accomplishments in the battle field, in diplomacy and in management and delivery of social economic and humanitarian services. That was why we all called our selves comrades. Nothing pleases me today more than being called Comrade Chairman or Comrade President.

However, in our midst today there are some “old comrades” who delight in calling themselves Excellencies. That title is neither ordained by our constitution, prescribed by our laws or stipulated in Presidential Decrees. It is a self–ordained entitlement by those who wish to set themselves apart from their people.

But none of us should assume primacy, even symbolically, over his brothers and sisters or over our people. If there is at all any entity in Southern Sudan who must have primacy it is The People.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Citizens,
Those are the cardinal goals and essential principles that shall guide my government in the coming five years.

With God’s help, we shall succeed
 

Posted in: Speeches
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