You are hereSTATEMENT OF THE CHAIRMAN OF SPLM-DC ON THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF SPLM-DC.
STATEMENT OF THE CHAIRMAN OF SPLM-DC ON THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF SPLM-DC.
(07/06/2012, SPLM-DC)Dear Compatriots,
Today marks the third year of the birth of SPLM-DC. In the three years of its existence, your great party has made stupendous achievements in articulating the aspirations of our people.
We have mentioned most of these in the previous two years. This anniversary is special in that it is the first in an independent South Sudan and therefore has a special taste.
On the party level, the membership continued to increase in all the States and the Diaspora. Of course, a lot of propaganda has been made about the defection of a few from our ranks. But this was the opposite of the overall picture; we were gaining members in hundreds against the loss of a handful. The party continued to pursue the training of its cadres and a number of programmes took place in this area. Notably, with the support of the International Republican Institute (IRI) we organized a workshop in April this year that brought together party leaders in the States to discuss our basic documents (The Constitution and the Programme of Action). Other workshops brought the women together and more are underway. We thank the IRI and all organizations that extended their hands to us in this endeavour. The party, in the person of the Chairman, delivered public lectures in Juba in October and November on the issues of national dialogue. This was part of our commitment to enriching and deepening dialogue on such vital national matters so as to arrive at a national consensus on the course our country should traverse.
Since June 2011 your party has played a great role in sensitizing our people to the demands of an independent state. We marked the declaration of independence on 9 July 2011 with posters and a press statement to express our happiness with our long-awaited independence. However, the posters were torn down and our Deputy Chairman, Thomson Teny, and our senior member who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the SSLA by then, Hon Onyoti Adigo, were beaten up by the security organs under the orders of the SPLM, and the Leader of the Opposition lost two of his teeth under this unjustified cruel treatment. Despite all this we did not tire of continuing to work hard to bring our people together. On the 28th September 2011, our Chairman met the President of the Republic and Chairman of the SPLM in Nairobi. The two leaders agreed to bury the hatchet and work together as Government and the Opposition in order to build the new nation together. At no time is consensus needed more than at the birth of a nation. Agreement was reached on a programme that the SPLM and SPLM-DC should discuss and agree upon and then afterwards involve the rest of the political parties. Our Chairman was in Juba for two months to see this process through. Unhappily, the SPLM leadership scuttled the programme and no discussions took place. In their opposition to it, some SPLM leaders were describing the process as “lending a new lease of life to SPLM-DC”!! It seems that these leaders have not learnt the lessons of doing away with the resolutions of the All Southern Sudan Political Parties Conference of October 2010 and the damage that brought to the cohesion of South Sudan political landscape. Needless to say, the SPLM-DC is very much alive and does not need a lifeline from any other party or person.
Your party has also left no stone unturned to advise the Government, outside and inside Parliament, on the adverse effects its policies are exacting on the citizens of South Sudan, who are poor by any measure you use. Unfortunately, these well-intentioned advices went unheeded. The government lacked coherent policies on the various aspects of life. Today, under the voodoo economics of the SPLM government the common man is reeling under difficult living conditions; the food prices are rocketing, fuel prices are hiking, the South Sudan pound is plummeting, to say nothing about the lack of basic services. Even before the first birthday of our hard-won country, South Sudan is already under the censorship of the United Nations’ Security Council, thanks to the SPLM’s foreign policies. The same period also saw the enactment of the Political Parties Act 2012. It is a bad law in that, rather than help organize the work of political parties, as any similar law is meant to do, it is drafted to exclude many a party. In fact, it is meant to introduce a one-party state through imposing impossible conditions for the registration of the political parties other than the SPLM. This is wishful thinking; our people have developed well-tested means of resisting dictatorships.
Dear Members of the party,
Anniversaries are not occasions only to congratulate ourselves on the achievements we have scored in the course of the year. They are also moments to reflect on where we went wrong and the way forward. As we enter our fourth year, there are a number of challenges facing us. First, as our country enters into hard economic and political difficulties as a result of obvious mistakes, some of those in authority have been looking for scapegoats for their failures. The first target is always the Opposition, especially SPLM-DC. We have seen and heard on the media how some people are made to tarnish the good name of our party and its leadership on matters that are not of national concern. Therefore, we need to remain firm in our party and on what it stands for; let us not waver or falter. Secondly, soon and pursuant to the signing of the Political Parties Act, the Political Parties Affairs Council (PPAC) will be formed by the government. This will mean that we will have to re-register as a party within 90 days. All the States are here directed to start registering the required number of members as “founders”. Each State has to register more than 500 such members, so that we comply with the law. Third, our party organs in the States and the Diaspora need to be strengthened. All members of the party must be involved in the running of its affairs and strive to pay membership fees. Fourth, as the Opposition party we must continue to highlight and sponsor the needs of our people and stand with them under the current difficulties facing them. Fifth, we should continue to preach togetherness and consensus building. A house divided cannot stand. Our differences with the government are over policies, but they are our brothers, not enemies. In the same spirit we shall continue to advise them in good faith on the correct policies to follow in order to serve and save our people.
In closing, we hope that the New Year will be better than the one gone. Together, let us continue to build this great party. Forward with the people, together we shall win.
Dr Lam Akol