By Agel Ring Machar
OPINION – In absence of well-organized and functional political parties, Constitutional post holders such as Ministers are evidently brought by their respective strong & well-polished community based lobbyists. Hence upon their successful appointments by the President, you see their respective communities burst into celebrations of all sorts and countless statements of gratitude towards the appointing Authority are everywhere from social media to print media.
Since political realities usually dictates that he who appoints you control your actions, a South Sudanese National Minister for instance has two masters. The President or any other appointing Authority and their respective communities who lobbied hard for his appointment. Now, what would be the most pressing or primary requirements or expectations on that particular National Minister by his/her two masters?
1 – Appointing authority
The appointing Authority will obviously go after two things, particularly for South Sudan context; Performance and unequivocal loyalty (Remember the “work for” Vs “work with” the President statement??). And with the political party already sidelined during the initial appointment, the appointing Authority will definitely find it almost impossible to effectively supervise and closely monitor the ministers and their levels of performance. That leaves loyalty as the only primary expectation on the minister in question, in order to keep masters happy.
Now, you understand why nothing changes in terms of performance and service delivery, regardless of the number of Cabinet reshuffles over the last decade and a half.
2 – The community
Since our respective communities are not organized political parties with well-defined Ideologies and clear programs for governance, don’t expect them to measure the success of their son/daughter on those lines. Their primary expectation of their Son/daughter is simple, FOOD or “akimoch” as my Toposa friends would call it. The Community expects them to find money to treat their sickly elders in Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, and India and beyond etc., instead of pushing them to improve the healthcare system here at home. Master #2 will demand them to provide countless number of scholarships for their children in the region and beyond, instead of pushing them to develop a world class curriculum and educational system here at home.
Since the salaries and allowances of any particular National Minister can’t come anywhere near meeting those preposterous demands by Master 2, now, you understand why the current rampant and debilitating corruption and misplaced priorities and the government of South Sudan will continue in bed for the foreseeable future.
The author is a former press secretary in the office of the first vice president. Follow him on Facebook HERE!
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