A cartoonist's impression of the power struggle that ensued between the top two principals of our new nation. This prediction has now come to pass, and will still come to pass...! Let's just wait and see...!

A cartoonist’s impression of the power struggle that ensued between the top two principals of our new nation. This prediction has now come to pass, and will still come to pass…! Let’s just wait and see…!

The Presidential Decrees read out once and for all on South Sudan Television in the evening of July 23, 2013 will make South Sudan not the same again, to borrow from the late Dr. Garang’s prediction on the impact of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) over Sudan in 2005. On receiving the biggest news of the year since 2011, many South Sudanese broke into cheering and jeering. Social media was awash with such reactions. I read most of them and understood that some were deliberating, celebrating and also salivating for the sacking of the Vice President, party Secretary General (SPLM), ministers and their number-twos, and, by a miserable extension, some octogenarian brigadiers in the police service.

Before I delve into breaking up the new terminology coined up for the extraordinary politics of the 21-century nation of South Sudan, let me admit on behalf of any political hypocrite that the SPLM, which is the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement, is done! Done how? Before I answer myself in that how-why question of SPLM’s compulsory fragmentation, let me intimate again what somebody wanted to intimidate me against last year. My version of the SPLM went with the late Dr. John Garang de Mabior on July 30, 2005, and the last bit that I had been waiting for was thrown into the ballot box on January 9 and relegated to our history on July 9, 2011, respectively. Whatever ensued or persisted after the Grand Birth Day of our Nation is but a shadow of the mighty SPLM.

Having repeated that, I am now courageous and even empowered enough to declare that the SPLM is no more. By ‘no more’ I do not mean it does not exist anymore but it does so in skeleton. The flesh and blood are gone. But in the truest sense of that word, the SPLM is now an S/P/L/M. This is no longer the popular Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement but Salva’tion against ProPagan’dation, Lam’ination and (Machination by) Riekonciliation. What do I mean by these terms? The Salva’s personalized rescue of the SPLM or the people of South Sudan, aka Salva’tion, is but a Salva Peoples’ Libation Moment, libation in this context being a desperately political ritual of appeasement to the Salvators (I will explain who a ‘salvator’ is in the later paragraphs).

In short, Gen. Salva Kiir wants yes-sayers but not nay-sayers in the politics of South Sudan. This is seen in the selective application of the law on his detractors and the culprits. This is also evidenced in the way some of his governors and ministers go publically to worship or praise him and ‘his wise leadership’ with the in/famous phrase of “we’re behind Your Excellency”. My former rebel commander is allergic to any dissenting voices in the country. That legacy alone does not make ours a democratic nation but a democratic notion or a movement as was the case during the liberation days. However, this is not going to work. That is why I mutilate the term into a ‘Moment’. So the sacked Vice President of South Sudan or Vice Chairman of the SPLM, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, and the Secretary General, Pagan Amum Okiech, will work day and night to reduce Kiir’s SPLM into an ‘splm’ (Salva’tion Peoples’ Libation Moment). And the ‘moment’ is characterized by appointing the obedient comrades and apportioning the resources to the regions and states behind His Excellency. This libation will not work for long. It only worked for the Africa’s first independence winners, say, in 1963, but not in 2003 or 2013.

It will be disrupted often by the other SPLM factions with their propagations. For instance, Pagan will not sleep on his ProPagan’da neither will Riek sit with is political masochism that is dealing in Nation’s healing and Reconciliation, say Riekonciliation. Of cource, Dr. Lam Akol has been toying around with his idea of Lam’ination, a nation-coated tribe in a political party called SPLM-DC (democratic cheating). All in all, the Salvatorie Kiir Mayardit’s salvation agenda is but a Salva’tion; a personal rescue mission in the middle of the national interest that will only make the politicians engage in political scheming at the expense of the development schemes. Money and time will be spent on making followers of the President and not followers of the nation; and vice versa, a big blow to our project of nation building in South Sudan.


As hinted earlier on, the nation will be chunked up into junk followers of each of the main politicians on tribal lines. These disciples without political disciplines and national cohesion will drive the young nation into a standoff that is ‘Somalistic’ in nature. In Somalia, the nation was distributed into the hands of clansmen and warlords that turn on one another’s throat. This is approaching! And if not, then why, for example, is this writer receiving emails, Facebook messages and phone calls threatening to crack him down even if he migrates ‘to the end of the earth’? Just for having a different opinion against their leader!? This kind of demigod worshippers were referred to by my social media colleague as ‘Kiiriminals’; meaning they become criminals in an attempt to defend Kiir, the president, at the cost of other citizens’ sweet lives. Unfortunately, they do not know how to do it or they overdo it, ending up committing a ‘Kiirime’ (Kiir’s crime), hence the ‘Kiiriminals’ (criminals).

There is the other very political clique of colleagues around Kiir. This form a kind of ‘Kiir League’ to the detriment of the national leader, who even when he does not intend to make a mistake or do anybody any harm, would end up being a victim of leadership encroachment. This leadership encroachers in terms of advisers, who add a vice in the process of giving advice are what I call ‘Salvators’. Of course, in Arabic, a ‘salvata or salbata’ sounds like agitation. So the ‘Salvators’ or followers of Salvatorie Kiir Mayardit end up agitating against other contributors to the nation building. These power encroachers agitate or incite their junior ones, call them public ‘poachers’ in the name of Security operatives. I prefer to call them poachers because they do not go after the real enemy of the nation, but they waste a lot of time going after individuals who have differing views from that of Mr. Number One. This behavior makes our Intelligence Service populated with unintelligent servicemen that make our leaders unpopular.

As for the Riektionaries, Laminators and Propagandists, it is our homework to see what characters they will acquire in defence of their friends and in defiance of their fiends. However, going to their roles in the history of our liberation movement, their names speak volumes. For example, the Riek’s reactionaries (Riektionaries) who later become conciliators (Riekonciliators) will be known by their reflex action sort of response to political stimuli. This was seen in the past. May it not be exhibited in this future. But as far as I know from my previous liberation experiences, Riecktionaries will not tolerate any attempt of political contempt on their leader. And this does not augur well with the  tribalistic communities being pierced and pieced into a nation state.

The Lam’s followers are hereby referred to as ‘Laminators’. Lamination (Lam’ination) in this connotative sense is an art of covering up or shielding somebody from somebody or something from something. Let me also put it as a tactic of shielding someone by ‘shelling’ another one in Lam’s politics. This was seen in the Nasir Declaration with the way he played Dr. Riek Machar Teny. Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin has successfully ‘laminated’ or covered up his real political intention by pirating the name of SPLM and affixing it with something from Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe. By christening SPLM into Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement for Democratic Change, Lam was able to laminate it with his tribe of Shilluk and then lubricate it with political terms in the name of democracy for the new nation, hence the successful mobilization of the ‘Lam’inators’ in the SPLMDC. Who has forgotten another lamination attempt in our history: SPLA United?

As for Pagan Amum Okiech, who is now a Kiir’s political pagan, he has the Propagandists or Propagandans (understand it like ‘Pro’Pagan’dists). Though the name is unfortunately part of the political word ‘propaganda’ and religious word ‘pagan’, I have not earned enough knowledge on the character and ideology of Pagan Amum, apart from what his former Boss, Salva Kiir, has accused him and sacked him of. This is spreading propaganda in the country and through the media. He is being investigated for making that. I do not know how many the ProPagandists are or may be and how crafty they will be. Let’s just wait and see as they wade and seek through their political journey to a new party or coalition, or the same one (SPLM).

Nevertheless, my interest is not in the individuals but in the effect of their coalitions and impact of their collusion and collision in the new political dispensation being brewed by Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit in the nascent Republic of South Sudan. Some of my readers may ask how about the other leaders of the SPLM. If you talk of Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior and James Wani Igga Maring (Kuol Manyang having since thrown wholesale his political weight to Salva Kiir during the crisis meeting of the SPLM in Newsite after the fateful helicopter crash in 2005), then let’s wait and see their fate in case they fail to fit the group of Salvators. What I do not know and would not want to even know or speculate is whether they will stand alone or along with the top four of the S\P\L\M—Salva’tion, ProPagan’dation, Lam’ination and Masochism by Riekonciliation.

NB: please, Reader, mark my use of backward slash in this new S\P\L\M’s awkward formula. There is a reason why I do not use the forward slash: the current S/P/L/M (former SPLM) is not moving forward.

If the president is now empowered by the constitution's Article 101r to remove elected governors at the time of national security threat, what amount of threat can also remove the president from his position, and by who?

If the president is now empowered by the constitution’s Article 101r to remove elected governors at the time of national security threat, what amount of threat can also remove the president from his position, and by who?

One of the many reasons is the unfinished business of independence with our immediate sinister neighbour, the Government of Sudan. They are now celebrating because Kiir has unknowingly cut off his right hand in the fight for the completion of the independence project. How come this? Pagan Amum has been a headache to the Sudan negotiation team since Naivasha, and this has been publically acknowledged and decried by Khartoum, including an attempt one time to call for replacement of Mr. Pagan in Addis Ababa. He has all the records of the CPA negotiations, and I believe he is the first among the best to seal all the loopholes: or the loops and the holes in the current September Cooperation Agreements of 2012 now being abrogated by Omar al Bashir. Gen. Kiir can appoint another hustler but may not squarely fit in the shoes of Mr. Pagan. The new driver will need to read and internalized all the written documents but not the oral ones uttered during the negotiations in Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Naivasha, Machakos and elsewhere of the negotiation venues. That person will need to understand their counterparts, the Khartoumers’ side of the debate by profiles and files and this needs time, which time is not on our side at the moment.

Similarly, Dr. Riek Machar has been Kiir’s right hand fixer in such situations. He has been dispatched readily and professionally to quick-fix mission such as in Khartoum or New York. Briefly but regrettably, the problems Kiir wanted to solve by breaking the SPLM up is not worth it. We needed this time to complete the job of liberation before personal interest crept in at the expense of the national Interest.

We need political height, political maturity for our new nation...!

We need political height, political maturity for our new nation…!

Therefore, if I were one of the Salvators (Salva’s advisors) in the ‘Salvatorium’, that secret theatre, say J1, where such political surgery was performed on our political clan, I would let Kiir sack me by telling him the adverse side of the coin he was tossing. Unfortunately, the Salvators in the ‘Salvatory’ (in Salva’s administration) are always doing something the Arabs called ‘Salvata or Salbata’, whose results is always regrettable. It is therefore my prayer to all the peace-loving South Sudanese that we just wait and see how Salvatorie Kiir Mayardit will make it with his ‘Republic of Super Salvatoria’(RoSS), that imaginary state he is envisioning in which everybody will think and speak his one-way traffic leadership.


As seen from the outpour of comments online and offline, some are celebrating because their enemy was sacked unto the implementation of their long-borne grudge. Others cheered as leaders from that tribe have been removed and might be replaced with their very own. Some were overjoyed by the facts that there was breaking news especially that one aimed at punishing those corrupt ones. Others were relieved of the long wait for the reshuffle. That is others, but me be different. Simply, my happiness is based on the fact that General Kiir has finally accepted to form a formidable opposition to himself and the SPLM as a ruling party. This augurs well for our well trimmed democracy.
Why does this make me happy? The role of a strong opposition was relegated to busybodies such as I am. Who am I? The Media and Civil Society. For an efficient democracy or rule of law to thrive, somebody must put forth a reaction every time an action or a decision is taken by the ruling government. Nobody was doing this but us of the media and civil society. This made activism and journalism being viewed as an opposition to the government rather than being mere tools for public awareness and enlightenment. To be straight forward, I would not have been flashed out of my country into exile if there were several other voices questioning the overlapping dictatorship and corruption in terms of official opposition in South Sudan.

Now that we shall definitely have Dr. Riek Machar – I suppose, and even propose – is going to form an officially recognized pressure body, say, an opposition party either from half of the SPLM or a brand new party, altogether, I and even we shall be relieved of the national burden of carrying the cross which belongs to a certain politician in the system. We shall fall back to our usual positions and roles of being commentators and communicators in addition to complementing the pressure groups behind a big political machines called Opposition. Damn Dr. Lam Akol for his cowardice. He either joins Riek in Juba or go to hell with Bashir in Khartoum. This time, at least, if not suppressed violently or frustrated into violent campaign, we shall have a stronger voice to point out the overlapping corruption in the government of Salva Kiir and his new faces, if not recycled uncles. Let us wait and see what kind of faces that be.

Just to preempt according to the current political currents, the long awaited ministerial faces will neither be old nor new. They will be his yes-sayers. In other words, the last minute desperation for ‘followers’ will make our leader even call supporters from the NCP, PCP or any other distant party that was fighting Kiir in our very recent past. I say political desperation makes even the most shrewd leaders blind. The nay-sayers like Riek, Pagan, Chol Tong, Deng Gai, Deng Alor, Kosti Manibe and those ministers whose names will not feature in the second Presidential Decrees will have no choice for their voice except to form an opposition bloc. And should the be blocked, then the blocking game may turn otherwise. So that is the only positive part of Kiir’s decision, only if not challenged with violence. As for the fight against corruption, it is not from this writer to sigh now that some gangrene has been disinfected. Who says undersecretaries, the directors-general, and even the presidency itself are clean of the rot? Was it not recently that a huge amount of money was stolen even in the OoP’s (Office of the President) safes? If such decrees of sacking are to be directed to the corrupt ones, I am afraid, even the Big One/s, may decree themselves out of that position!

An appeal to Kiir, Riek, Pagan and all those with power to not let this situation repeat itself for personal interests. Never will I again be dragged into a useless war of defending my uncles' position. No, we have fought enough for a genuine reason. It's our duty now to take care of this group who sacrificed part of their life for our freedom. The God of this people will condemn to one leg whoever will bring our nation back to war...!

An appeal to Kiir, Riek, Pagan and all those with power to not let this situation repeat itself for personal interests. Never will I again be dragged into a useless war of defending my uncles’ position. No, we have fought enough for a genuine reason. It’s our duty now to take care of this group who sacrificed part of their life for our freedom. May the God of this people will condemn to one leg whoever will bring our nation back to war…!

By so saying, I do not mean he is directly corrupt. I mean he has been despairing on the rot and sparing the rod for far too long. Methinks, it is by selfishness that now our big man is behaving belatedly. If not so, then why acting tough not only towards the election days but also after having been criticized? Why now? Why not in 2011 or 2012 when we had passionately been begging him to reduce his obese government in the face of austerity measures? This leaves me with the impression that if Riek, Pagan and the rest did not talk tough against Kiir, things would go on like they have been over the last eight years of ‘DemoKiiracy’; that ideological tendency of looking left when the attention is being shouted out loud from the right, a traffic sort of law whereby a police officer looks left when danger is hooting from the right. It is called negligence, which is one of the top weaknesses of a leader, a vice that will make his Vice (deputy) not stop there from the sacking spot now he has a backing sport team in politics.

It is going to be very unfortunate if Comrade Salva Kiir were acting on political motivation from his Salvators, those unofficial in-house advisors. I mean if the president is becoming allergic to criticism, then the new country is heading backwards towards Khartoum. And, indeed, the signs and symptoms of political allergy are coming out clearly. This intolerance coated with nationalistic vocabulary such as ‘two-year old baby nation’, ‘tarnishing the image of our country’, ‘is being sponsored by Bashir or America’, ‘is looking for international fame’, and the like will make South Sudan a very identical twin to Sudan, no wonder we are number two after Sudan among the first best four out of the 174 failed states of the world. This disappointing change of behaviour is, I call it, ‘Khartoum in Juba’…!

What is a failed state? I think, which is not the case in Juba, that a failed state is one when rule of law is in the hand of one man, His Excellency, The President. It is one where dissenting voices are classified with enemies and charged with treason punishable by a night firing squad. It is a country where corruption is carried out at midday and announced to the public by act of flashing prestigious cars, houses and lavish living in our slum-mixed capital city and capital cities of foreign countries whereas the rest of the fledgling country is rotting away with diseases, hunger and ethnic conflict. A failed state is one where leaders spend a lot of the people’s money and time in scheming against one another. It is one where money for roads, schools and hospitals is twice less than that spent on salaries and allowances. Yes, the one where annual ticket cost of government travelers is twice the cost of procuring a national air carrier, itself. It is the one where the defence budget is over 40% of the GDP but where foreign enemy’s planes bomb civilians at broad day light due to lack of air defence weapons. It is a state that believes all its woes and wars are imported from foreign lands. It is one that imports all its food and non-food goods from other countries. The list is endless but the end is not listless for such a government of emotional reactionaries. Very soon, anything worse may happen unless foreseen and avoided right now. But who will?

Since this is just a reaction to the news that was just announced on the national television a few hours ago, I would love to suspend this topic here pending the second decree to bring in a new government. However, if all this belated salvation by Salva Kiir is just a political scheming towards 2015 general elections, then the calculation is doomed to fail for one or the other reason now in speculation. All the condemned colleagues of Comrade Salva Kiir have all that it takes, should they unite, to cause instability to Kiir and the new friends. For instance, the records that have been ‘sacked’ with the Vice President, Secretary General, governors and ministers are enough to form a proper propaganda (or Pro’Pagan’da now that Pagan Amum is a victim) to cast doubt to the political sainthood of Gen. Salva

Please, stop it! Stupid! I want peace...!

Please, stop it! Stupid! I want peace…!

Kiir and his loyal ‘looternants’…call them lieutenants.

Since I have been requested and instructed by my fellow socialite (thanks to Daniella Valentino Wol) of the Social Media to write, in my blog reaction, something uniting our people, I have to sigh and sign off with this. And it is not always welcomed by my hard-line grudge-keepers who once had labeled me ‘STUPID’ or supporter of Mr. X or reporter of Dr. Y. on my Facebook post just because I had said, “We must not live in 1993 in 2013.” I mean nobody was clean enough during our closed chapter of the liberation war to pretend to punish the historical wrong doers today. Even the current wrong doers should not be eliminated but corrected if we want to call our nascent state a united nation. If an opponent or a criminal is to be eliminated in order for crime to be eliminated, then we are not different from a doctor who poisons his patients to keep diseases from spreading to the rest. I thought South Sudan has adopted the US naming system in such a way that prisons are called correctional facilities. Of course, the judiciary and other government organs being there to mediate or reform the dissenting ones, there is no need purging the country of the people who contributed for its independence in one way or the other. I mean President Kiir should not think removing or eliminating the disgruntled ones would translate to his political stability in a country where tribes are being networked into a nation state. I warn again, should there be such an attempt for scapegoating, hell will break loose, and the blame will not be shared among the Captain and the ship occupants.

In short, I must tell my own disgruntled self that keeping a grudge against a 1991 father’s killer in my Bor village, or a 1993 uncle’s tormentor in Pageri, or a 2001 school bully in Gulu or my kidnapper in Makerere in 2006, or my 2012/13 media persecutor in Juba, will not make me a successful citizen of this new nation. I am deeply hurt when seeing my leader/s insinuating on old mistakes for their current political mileage. This will open up old wounds and wound the baby nation afresh. I mean, it’s foolhardy for somebody to ‘nationalize’ personal or community grudges as a means of political campaign. Such old school tactics may backfire as they are not compatible with our current generation. To borrow from the biblical Joshua’s declaration, as for me and my household, we shall wait and serve the SPLM that will see South Sudan as one nation, complete the liberation project, and implement the three slogans of the old SPLM: Justice, Equality and Progress—JEP, yep!
And you?

Contact: penndengong@gmail.com

RELEVANT POEM from ‘The Black Christs of Africa’.

Poem 64

Man has two legs,
Which stride alternately.
English language has 26 legs,
And if they go alternatively,
They clash and crash like eggs.

When on others’ way stands A,
B topples it unto C, sparing D,
The result is an insult: BAD!
When M avenges A,
Overthrowing B, sparing D,
The whole process runs like: MAD!

Any attempt to abandon the Antecedents,
And go for the Precedents,
Meaning toppling M,
Makes M crushes legs-up like this W,
Who substitutes D with its western neighbor, R,
Turning the whole reshuffle into WAR!

This woe is blamed on the power-hungry alphabets,
Among which A is a legal leader.
But when it involves middlemen, namely: L, P, H,
The A wins by majority votes,
And since he is the ALPHA—
He bets for power with the leftist, the Omega,
And the arbitration culminates into an infinite wrangling
Referred to as ‘WAR of the ALPHA BETS’.

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
Carl Sagan.

SOURCE: The Black Christs of Africa
CHAPTER 5: The Poly-tricks of Politics
POEM 64: War of the ALPHA-BETS
POET: Jon Pen de Ngong
PERIOD: 06-06-06 to 12-12-12
STATUS: Publishing in Progress.