‘Only Kiir can hire and Fire’, says Makuei

By William Madouk

President Salva Kiir Mayardit is the final authority that has the power to appoint and relieve anybody, government spokesman, Michael Makuei has said.

Speaking to the media after Friday’s ordinary cabinet meeting, Makuei stated that president Kiir is the sole entity that appoints all members of parties including the first vice president, Dr Riek Machar and thus remains with power to hire and fire anyone.

“Even the SPLM-IO, even Riek Machar was appointed by the president, so the final authority that makes the appointment is the president and he is the final authority that relieves,” said Makuei who is also the minister of Information.

He also urged the general public not to pay attention to the ongoing political argument over the dismissal of Angelina Teny as minister of Defense, adding that peace is on track.

“My message to the public is that don’t pay much attention to what is happening, be assured that the agreement is moving on well, the implementation is going on. If there are any issues in the presidency these issues will be addressed by the presidency,” he said.

Last Friday, President Salva Kiir Mayardit fired Angelina Teny as minister of defence and veteran affairs and Mahamoud Solomon from the Ministry of Interior.

The Head-of-state also swapped the ministry of defence which was a docket under SPLM-IO with the interior under the SPLM docket.

But that did not sit down well with the SPLM-IO, who said the move was a violation of Chapter One of the agreement.

Machar has been calling for the reinstatement of his wife Angelina Teny and the reverse of the president’s decision to swap the two ministries.

Kiir referred to Article 97 (III) of the transitional constitution, which empowers the president to make such changes. But the SPLM-IO has stood its ground, disagreeing that such decisions violate the peace agreement.

Yet, Minister Makuei defended the president saying there’s no violation “Up to now, have you confirmed that it was a violation of the agreement – to me it’s not a violation as long as they are talking. I think something might have gone wrong within them.” He said.

Santo Malek, Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs and Mobilization, and the Acting Information Secretary for the SPLM party told local media earlier, that the constitution prevails over the R-ARCSS as it allows President Kiir to relieve and appoint any minister in cases of security threat.

But Puok Both Baluang, acting Press Secretary in the Office of the First Vice President, argued that the R-ARCSS overrides the constitution because the country is in the season of implementing the peace deal.

The amended 2011 constitution talks about the powers of the president to relieve and appoint ministers. Meanwhile, the R-ARCSS says the president can only take such a decision through mutual decisions, between parties that are involved in the peace agreement.

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