By Bida Elly David
The Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro has revealed why President Salva Kiir fired the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs Angelina Teny from the docket which has triggered political standoff as the SPLM-IO demand her reinstatement.
Lomuro said Angelina was axed due to the fact that he (president) wanted to take the lead towards completion of the deployment of the first phase of the unified forces and speed up the graduation of the second phase that is currently hanging.
Addressing the media in a national event yesterday, Minister Lomuro stated that President Salva Kiir being the Commander in Chief of all organized forces took the initiative because of the challenges the ministry faces especially snail pace in the implementation of the transitional security arrangement.
“Kiir said that he has no personal problem with the minister but was concerned about administrative challenges. His concern is that these forces that are now unified are now under the command of one person that is him being the President,” he said.
The cabinet affairs minister echoed that the president also realized that the time frame for the implementation of the roadmap is very tight and things are not moving yet the Ministry of Defense is one of the fundamental ministries to establish the ground for a professional security sector.
Dr. Lomuro further underscored that Kiir also removed Angelina to be able to give orders that cannot be underestimated or rejected by anybody below his power as the chief in charge of the forces across the Country.
“President wants to take charge so that when he gives orders, no one will stop doing what he says. Sometimes technocrats can undermine decisions made by a minister but if the president is in charge, nobody will stop. That is why he wants to take full responsibility in completion of the deployment of the forces and move to cantonment and training of the second group,” he said.
He added that president plays a bigger role in making sure that all constitutional processes and registration of political parties are done to move the Country for democratic elections.
Dr. Lomuro further slammed women campaigning against the presidential decree for Angelina’s removal saying that her relief was not based on gender discrimination but service delivery.
“That is nonsense. Angelina is not there because she is a woman. She was there because she was assigned by her political party. If the minister were a man, he would have also been removed,” Lomuro blasted.
He warned people against mixing politics with the right of women saying that Angelina’s removal had got nothing to do with gender based violence.
The minister of Cabinet affairs has also casted political blames against SPLM-IO political bureau on the account of President Kiir removing the defense minister without consultation noting that official notification letter was given in advance before the decree.
He said that the complaint from the bureau was not genuine adding that it was a total lie and exaggeration of facts meant to jeopardize the progress of the implementation of the revitalized agreement.
“The President sent the Minister of Presidential Affairs with the letter and it was direct. These are people who want this country not to be stable and they should stay away from things that are not their concern,” he echoed.