By: Biel Boutros
“We are sound minded people and we cannot be bullied to follow a failed system run by officials who are unable to deliver services. Our people did not rally behind our freedom fighters during the years of liberation cause to secure a failed system”
(Citizen Editor Nhial Bol, Friday, July 17, 2009, The Citizen Daily, Vol. 4, Issue No. 196, page 2)
January 9, 2010 (SSNA) — The above quote of my colleague Editor Bol was what I thought one can do no better other than to start with, for the subsequent series will come to the same underpinning anyway.
Ah, in memory of his song, I am made to recall the realities of their performance!
Years ago in our Advanced Level studies in Uganda, at his odd hours to remember him right, roughly at 7 o’clock sharp in the evening when we rushed in, to revise books, a certain one time colleague in Literature class had never failed his usual favourite song. He thus sang while clapping; “In heaven no beer, that‘s why we take it here, because when we go to heaven we will only pray the Lord”——- “In heaven no beer, that‘s why we take it here, because when we go to heaven we will only pray the Lord————— in heaven no——–that ‘s why—etc?
He would always sing it in great despite of what we were doing as we picked up our books and there into the reading room. The guy was not only stubborn but also funny in his dealings. He would go on and on with this song and for the sake of creating cool atmosphere, in response, Richard, another colleague of mine and I would burst into laughter and sang the same song in reverse as we would sing as; “In heaven no books that’s why we study them here because when we go to heaven we will only pray the Lord”. The reversed version of his own song we did tune differently never changed anything in the singer’s mind and instead, he would soon part with us as he disappeared into ‘Kijura’ and into class we were. ‘Kijura’ is an area near our school and well known to most finalists just for its ‘cheap Marrisa Abiedh or Abwong’. You see; the very guy with no shame would join us to sit for normal Friday’s English in Literature test! “No, no, Bwana, you can not just come to class only for a test, you are a visitor here, where have you been while others have been revising and attending classes?” Flowing; were the words of our English master. Hey, my poor friend Richard would always murmur and finally laughed to utter; ‘sir, allow him to sit, he is our man, give him more chance, he would improve’. For me, I best knew Richard was teasing the singer of ‘heaven no beer—–blab—blab—that’s we take it here—blab, blab—and into Kijura’. “Richard; we had given good opportunity to your colleague but he failed to utilize it, what would he actually write in the test?” Our master would ask in surprise. Sarah, another colleague of ours would say; ‘nothing as he knows nothing in his Literature books’. Though Richard knew that our ‘Kijura Colleague (KC) would fail, he would plead to master to allow the KC to sit and of course, at the end, the boy would bring clean ‘F’ and we would remember master’s words and Sarah’s too. I was not always in good picture why Richard was so sympathetic on Mr. ‘F’! Anyhow, our KC’s life went on as such until we sat for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education Examination the same year. When OUR results came out, to nobody’s surprise; our KC failed mercifully! Um! We left the School in peace and our KC on his way in pieces! Could our KC have picked himself up so far might be doing his greatness now? That remains a question which my OG Sarah refused to answer when I met her accidentally at Uganda’s Makerere Law Development Centre (LDC) recently. Wah! Yaa jamaa; I have up to now thought that the opportunities accorded to our colleague by his poor parents were purely misplaced for he misused them all!. Though Christians may call me ‘satanic’ or ‘heartless’ to forgive but in my view, no need to give that boy any more chance, only to advise if I knew his parents to deliver to him ‘an injunction that time is up for the Luak to be dwelt in by a drop-out!
Ah! Shamelessly, they will soon be around saying ‘this oyee! ‘that oyee! and ‘this and that jedid for change oyee!—in fact, the same guy is already up campaigning, he is true disciple but is he trusted? That’s immaterial in his view; after all he is liberator with them anyway, so what if he is? A ticket to mess up the whole system in the name of self-proclaimed salvation? But like Sarah who failed as per what our KC would write in that simple test, I just could not imagine what they would tell the citizens of this mercifully insecure region during their campaigns? Well, I do hear that during the elections, a politician can tell his or her voters that he or she is capable to the extent of building a bridge even where there is no river! Analysts can term that ‘talking impossibilities’. I concur but still fellow citizens, in the systems of our making, tribalism has crowned them up four years down the road and with no shame baptized with an open nepotism where if I come from Lainya, I would be with them in the office minus my being capable and if we find ‘ours’ from Malakal, those vacancies shall be for them! Um! And if he has been against his own people and having destroyed his own state politically, socially and economically beyond repair then let him remain a governor as long as we will use him against his own brother whom we perceive our arch-rival if not qualified enemy number!
How do we explain yaa jenubiin, in our own systems led by our own comrades the open looting of the public funds with impunity and no one has ever been brought to account for? I saw the big ‘him’ the other day very handsome though not longer in his post but as long as he is protected by his own big blood and his boys’ machines being largely operational, ‘thile mi jiak’ or ‘no problem’ or ‘keraac aliw’ ‘Life lisaa mashi gidaam!. Look here, Jonglei is a pure hell on earth as these ignorant cattle rustlers mess up the whole state coupled with tribal politics led my the minority, yet we sing still ‘Nam. Nam neanu rujiaal! What kind of ‘rujiaal’ who are not able to protect their own fellow citizens despite the huge money being cashed in from within which can be used to provide security by empowering strong law enforcement agents? What kind of ‘Rujiaal’ who were drunk of attacking Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army Fighters in Southern Sudan yet have eventually failed to protect fellow citizens in Central and Western Equatoria states?(Ref. to my last year’s article ‘Military Option Against LRA will end in fiasco’). Common, dear Advisors of General Kiir on Museveni-Konyi’s technically transferred war to South Sudan! You misled the regime and hated the mediator only to pursue General Kaguta’s failed war but are you protecting the LRA’s victims in the state led by the SPLM’s first female Governor? If yes, count me another ‘Thomas’
What is that which is remaining good with them when they have failed miserably but only dancing around who is to face NCP’s Chairman General Bashir in the forthcoming contest of 2010? Is what they claim still a strong people’s party. I will doubt any positive belief on this unless I have misfired on the definition of the term ‘failure’.
What about these handpicked, pretending to be representing people whom they have never visited except when recently going to cheat them on Constituencies Development Funds (CDF) and solicited for votes as the polling days are nearing? Oh sure! There you are Prof. Barri Wanji, I respect you sir for having been arguing for our poor people though your frankness on behalf of the poor caused you the committee seat, hero’s definition can’t escape you, my hat off for you Benydit!
What does this writer call you upon fellow citizens?
The message is simple, vote them out and return to the August house the likes of Hon. Daniel Wuor Jok, Prof. Wanji and the same but don’t forget to vote in again the likes of Hon. Mary Nya-Ulang if action speaks louder than words—she has proved her case right in my view. But for these ones who sleep in the parliament and always vote to refer crucial matters to the committee or who are neutral all the times even on crucial issues, fellow voters, show them the exit and unless they have built their ‘Luaaks’ in their four years of nothingness to go to, otherwise, we meet them in Kampala’s ‘Arua Park’ or Nairobi’s Wimpi area. They have misused their opportunity and have done things of clear insult to the intelligence of the Southern citizens. What will they do if given another graceful period—nothing yaa kwaana—they have failed the test!
Most of these fellows who have failed miserably to govern the region four years down the road if granted another opportunity, wait a minute, to do what? No, wapi, they haven’t been with us but in their own ‘Kijura’ or ‘Jebel Kujuur’ and we couldn’t allow them to mess up another test. They have divided us into Bari, into Nuer, into Dinka this, Dinka that, into Equatorian this or Abyei that. They have looted our resources enough to make them build mansions in Colorado, in Australia, in Khartoum, in Kampala and in Juba while a poor Toposa man knows no peace, while a poor Lou-Nuer man knows no difference between his own cows and that of Murle, while a poor Murle man knows n difference between raiding of cattle and abducting of innocent children from their neighbors, and while the poor man drinks from dirty water of Yei river, just because no money to provide for all, clean water while our liberators who are the same guys still sleeping in the city’s most expensive hotels! Are these like my KC, the guys we could still grant more chance to sit the same test? If so, don’t we have psychiatrists to doubt out sanity in Juba Teaching Hospital?
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose” This is what Lyndon B. Johnson believes and I don’t think there could be a deviation if we are serious. Elections and referendum are at the corner but we have seen how the citizens have lost hope in the systems led by their own. “Southerners cannot govern themselves” Who is right on this statement? An Arab or anti-South (as they call nowadays anyone who says yaa jamaa, let’s correct our mistakes and the Cuban trained boy is wrong) or the Southerner?
In this personal opinion, I am urging my fellow citizens to show the exit to whoever had been a visitor in offering services to us. How can we believe them when they have messed up the whole party and if you aren’t aware, the thing has fallen already from grace to grass, onto ground and soon into grave(God forbids) but who cares and after what? Look, these deceivers would come to preach on a failed thing! No more test, they failed to be with us in the class and they could not come only when we are doing the tough exams. Gling-gling, ‘thaman intaah kalaaz! Ya ajaasiin, malesh, you will do well in heaven and allow those who can, to lead and serve the Southerners for it’s only here they can be served because when we go to heaven we shall only pray the Lord. Less of no underestimation of this author that good and anti-corruption elderly leaders are a blessing to the nation. The like of ‘your known selves’ within that failing dynasty, keep up the good fight. I rest my case as I urge each one of us to remember Lyndon B. Johnson in this statement “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose”. Which way will we go then? Fellow voters, over to you!
Biel Boutros is reachable at: email@example.com