Just Recovering from Salva II’s WALK-TO-WORK or WALK-FROM-WORK Decree in Juba!
No sooner had I just reached my house exhausted than booted my PC and began to type. “I am damn tired, have walked 5 kilometres from Nyakuron Cultural Centre to Souk Jebbel, just because somebody (other than me) has decided to let me walk from work at night, after having walked to work today.” Before I add why, I saw the below post on my cobro’s (cousin brother’s) Facebook wall, and thought it would make this Weakleaker compliment the solidarity I most yearn and must always yearn from my readers, especially on stories of public interests that are likely to give us the Ngor’s Syndrome.
“People are dying in Jonglei and Unity States and here the government has deployed over 1,000 policemen/women to chase after boda bodas!…..Are boda bodas more important then human lives being lost in our states?”, asked Humble Anyang Ngong on a Facebook page.
I think somebody is trying to campaign against Gen. Salva Kiir and the SPLM in advance (before 2014) in South Sudan here. That ‘somebody’ is not Anyang or Ngong or Dengdit, or Ngor or Nhial Bol… It is he who just thinks the old bush style and imposes their thoughts over the people in town. As our President Salva Kiir is busy telling the Americans, Europeans and Asians in Washington DC that we South Sudanese are ready to barter our rule of law with their (donors) aid, somebody in the name of his Uncle and namesake, Salva Mathok Gengdit, is busy imposing on us the ‘law of rule’ back home (Juba). So when Salva Kiir is busy promising the world a rule of law, Gen. Salva Mathok, Deputy Minister of Interior, is busy implementing the law of rule on the poorest and more desperate section of our battered economy, the cyclists!
“Today 16/12/2011 we hereby reinforced police with more Orders, any motorcycles found entering prohibited streets in Juba Town must be seized and owner face the court to get fine,” said the orders by the Deputy Minister (quoted verbatim from his Decree). Tongue in cheek, my/our interests as members of public that use the boda boda transport cannot wait to see the map of the “Prohibited Streets in Juba Town”. Prohibited against who? Wow, am smelling Johannesburg of 1980 here!
This is what I call the ‘law of rule’ and not the rule of law that we fought for. A rule of law is one proposed, accepted and implemented by the people, for the people and of the people. However, this is not the case. My own presentation of the opposite (law of rule) is rule coined up by a people (reads person/s or ethnic clique of colleagues in power), of a people or for a people.
What is ‘the law of the rule’ vis-a-vis the ‘rule of the law’? Apologies: I have no definite definition here but just to let the reader benefit from the reverse of our governance system from law to rule. To pretend to be simpler and clearer, a democratic law is made by the peoples’ representatives, the parliament, or electees, whereas a rule (call it Dec(g)ree the Juba way) is made by the appointees. The latter, this Draconian Decree (unresearched unilateral law) is what I refer to as the law of the rule, a law proposed and imposed by a ruler.
Look at the raw law again. “The government institution should use Honda or Yamaha Motor Bikes (thumb up to these two companies!!!..???) for their dispatch riders and plate numbers issued by National Traffic Police,” reads the Decree in part. In normal circumstances, this stinks of corruption. The public, especially companies who have imported other brands of motorbikes, will jump up with accusing finger pointing at the two companies for allegedly bribing the government into declaring them ‘monopolists’. Does the Deputy Minister know the impact of his words in these economy?
This is the reason why I (they) reverse the order from the rule of law to the law of rule. In Uganda, a walk-to-work decree is declared and implemented by the marginalized people in protest against the government, while in South Sudan, a walk-to-work or walk-from-work is imposed by the marginalizing authorities upon the common people who cannot afford to use personal or official cars.This class, or call it third class citizens, comprises the majority, namely the matatu (minibus) commuters, the bicycle peddlers, the boda-boda cyclists, etc. The end of the list, just after the peddlers, are the pedestrians.
These groups are related closely to one another and they IRONICALLY form third class citizens in the young
Republic that has just voted to remove this classism. maybe the second class are the majority who own personal cars, while the first class could be the government V8-cruisers and their chidlren. That is why one of the exhausted pedestrian commented after galloping one pin of cold water at Nyakuron, “Who and why do they impose such a rule? I think it was just one of their party-going children who came home late and had to offer an excuse in the name of a traffic jam. “Dad, I knocked my car…. or I delayed in the jam because the boda-boda boys were everywhere in the city centre (which one is the centre, Mr. Deputy Minister?). In the morning, the old man can just walk up with a decree to chase away those good-for-nothing noise-makers.” This cynical analysis had some fake truth or vague facts in it. Otherwise, do you believe that accidents will now stop that the boys are out of the imaginary city centre?
As I wrote in my previous post on this blog (click the link at the bottom of this post), it is wise analysing this issue from many points of view, not only on the security point of view. By the way, the big men may think making this class of our economy forcefully jobless will solve the security level (read ‘reduce accident death toll’) but that force of the law is a farce by their law! We know that an idle mind (esp that of a youth) is the devil’s workshop. So if we eliminate 1,000 young men from operating in the city’s main roads, which are only two as per now, will we be secure otherwise? What will stop them from waylaying these V8 girls or Hummer boys and forcefully tax them (the Mungiki rule) so they could also survive. Of course, they also voted against the creation of the third class citizenship by the Jallaba. So who is that artificial Jallaba to make us realize classification by economic, social and political status in our new Sudan?
And if my readers/leaders get tempted to call or label me ‘jealous’ while I am just being zealous here, I hereby defend myself. If we are made to walk from the University of Juba to Equity Bank in Juba, or from the same University roundabout (where I am supposed to stop every morning and walk to work, or to start every evening and walk from work) to Jebbel Market, or from thereabout to Juba Airport, or from whereabouts to thereabouts, then who will send his boys to collect me for a crime of calling a spade a spade? I mean, the matatus that the Salvas might have thought to carry us around are confined to the two trunk roads of the city. So if I want to cross from Muniki (Seventh Day) Roundabout, or from the University Roundabout to Juba International Airport, I have to walk upto there to catch my flight to Nairobi or Malakal. So why?
Because of the deputy ministerial decree. About what? About stopping accidents by eliminating the quickest and most efficient (and also most dangerous) means of public transport, if not public investment, from the city. Hii my leaders…! That’s why I pray very emotionally everyday against the declaration of war between the two political divorcees, the South and North Sudan. Why? With this rate of Algebraic elimination method being adapted by our ‘Decree Declarers’, we shall have no wounded heroes after the war. Why? They would all be amputated to remove the problematic part of the body. Yes, if our current Salvas were like this during the war, our independence parade would have not been graced by our withered-legged Jesuses (mauhokeen). They would have been cut long ago to solve the problem. If not this, then why should our humble leaders who led us out of the bush into the new nation with all our bad parts just decide to do such a segregative pruning of the economy or of the nation?
Should we really cut away the whole arm when the problem is on the stubborn index finger? Anyway, should we cut or cure? I mean, will we eliminate accidents by removing the unnecessary nuisance in the boda bodas or we treat the accidents. By treating the accidents, the Ministry of Interior, which now looks like the ministry of inferior in the eyes of the long-distance walkers, like this ‘John Walker’, should just implement the traffic laws. Instead of employing 1,000 armed policemen, the Rajaf type (you may know what I mean by Rajaf type) to beat the mobile business boys out of the city, they should do what Anyang recommends above and instead deploy hundreds of traffic police to fine the hell out of the speeding drivers or cyclists. Somebody should also understand that most drivers (esp those of generals and ministers) do not know if the boda boda boys have rights to road, too.
Thanks to Abraham Jok Mooch, he struggled to humble those notorious cyclists into a Boda-boda Association. So the Traffic Police general should just sit with this Boda-Boda general and discuss the solutions to accidents or overpopulation of the cyclists in town. This is where they can weed out the foreign ones and the teen daredevils, leaving the most efficient and affordable ones on the road, even in the city centres. By imposing the traffic rules with heavy fines on obvious offences such as speed limits, wrong turns, etc. which always cause the accidents, the economy and politics (towards 2014) would not be affected in any way.
Anyway, if I might have overreacted, it is because I have just walked too much as a result of the decree, but I thought I was making a point here. Ok, to cut short this ‘offence’, I advise my bosses to think about the Late Dr. Garang’s theory on part of self-started sector of the economy such as the boda-boda. When security offices compiled, complained and reported their findings to Dr. Garang in 1999, he ‘disappointed them. When they complained of the black market in dangerous commodities such as (not motor-cycles) but submachine guns by our own soldiers to e.g. Agoro, he simple asked,
“Who started that market?” When they said it started itself, he grinned and commented in a matter-of-fact tone, “Then don’t disturb them, it will stop itself the way it started.” This is because in a war economy like ours of the 90s or in a laisez faire economy like ours of the 2000s, we should allow the market forces to carry out the change themselves. We just need the law enforcers to watch how such a market force stirs or stars. If you add a finger, you risk a double-directional damage.
Finally, I would advise our security forces to leave us alone or join us along (journalists and cyclists); and we all march northwards for the common enemy. If the common enemy cannot unite us at our hour of nation’s call like now, then who will? Meanwhile, somebody please interpret to H.E. the Deputy Minister that what he is forcing us to adapt now, the Walk-to-Work or Walk-from-Work transport system will not go down well with his Boss if he comes back from America. At least, I believe, his friend Yoweri Museveni has explained to him what that means, and who practises it: The Walk-to-Work strike! God forbid here!
For similar reactions to Decrees, follow the following links:
Meanwhile, as usual, I wind of with a poem from ‘The Black Christs of Africa’:
The Tower of Power
Ours is a story biblical
In history diabolical.
Once upon a time,
There was no dime,
Only nothing but love,
traded by one noble dove
Among a people of one tribe.
There was not a crime of bribe,
Not nepotism but mutual trust,
Not for money or honey was lust.
All were considered of equal folks,
Zero tolerance on more equal fox.
When they felt themselves firmly,
They said, look we’re one family,
Come, let’s build ourselves forts,
A citadel with bricks our hearts,
Be it called ‘Tower of Power’.
But detractors saw power,
“Behold, oh, one lineage,
Speaking one language!
This is just their beginning!
Nothing will be impossible for them,
Come, let’s go and confuse their language,
That they understand one another’s speech as a babble.”
So Lo-see-far scattered them all over the earth, failing the building.
There, because of this confusion, the project was called The Tower of Babel.
Relevant Quote: The Babelization of great capitals and their cultural relativism are to me the unmistakeable sign of modernity. Juan Goytisolo (1931 – ), Spanish novelist and essayist.