Columnists, OpEd

You wouldn’t believe Dr. John Garang wandered over Juba last night

First and foremost, may the Lord continue resting the wise soul of Dr. John Garang de Mabior in eternal peace, Amen. You may think I am a liar, but I am not. This is what took place exactly last night. If Dr. John Garang was alive, he would be 80 years old this year; unfortunately, death has robbed us of him when he was only 62 years old. He, indeed, died young.

He sacrificed his youthhood to fight for the independence of South Sudan, but before he reaped what he sowed, though he knew it would succeed, he succumbed to the consequences of the liberation struggle. This fulfils the proverb that, “the Sower is not always the harvester”. I hate that day, that very day, that very ugly day of July 2005 when the shocking news of his death dominated, not only Southern Sudan, but the whole world.

Nobody comes to this world to live forever, but one should die when he/she has tasted the fruits of a tree he/she has grown. Dr. John Garang died with South Sudan at heart and that; he would always visit South Sudan in spirit to see whether or not his successor Joshua Salva Kiir Mayardit is giving services to the people of South Sudan.

Having seen that the soldiers assigned to guard his tomb and those guarding the mausoleum are asleep, Dr. John Garang came out of the tomb and exited the fence towards the August House to see that expensive gate whose construction took $ 5 million. He shook his head in disgust, saying that, even a construction of a poultry house may cost $ 3 million in South Sudan.

He then proceeded to the office of the president to see whether or not there are changes made so far, but he found that the president rarely uses the office and so, he uses the State House as the office for the reason best known to him. He felt annoyed and said, an office is an office, and a state house is a state house, the two serve different functions.

He turned right and moved through the ministries, from one ministry to another. I tell you; he almost broke down in tears as he found government officials uploading their cars with boxes full of money. When he moved ahead a bit to the Ministry of Finance and planning, he thought he has come to where money is minted.

Everybody looked oilier and was carrying away money. To his surprise, he saw the minister himself telling the civil servants that there is no salary this month and, thereafter, he (minister) joined his boss to transfer the whole salary to where they keep their money.

Dr. John Garang paused, moving and shed tears, saying I wish I were alive, what would bring hyenas to serve domestic animals? He checked on some ministries and found them containers being raised on piled blocks and made in such a fashion that makes them look like offices.

Exiting the ministries through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, his eyes fell on a signpost fixed on the other side of the road written “SPLM National Secretariat” and he drew closer to confirm whether or not it was a joke. He arrived at the place and found it the national office of the SPLM Secretariat.

He said, what? The SPLM national secretariat offices are containers, come on, comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit, what is the meaning of this? As a dominant party, or did I term you up? Simply, as a ruling party, you are always a contestant on anything and that, you must look beautiful. You must wear good clothes; you must live in a concrete house, and you must talk to people politely and give them services.

From your protruded bellies, obese bank accounts, personal towers and marital statuses, I confirm that you eat resources meant for all I mentioned and so, you remain with nothing to build national offices. I’m dismayed. Let me tell you this comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit, I chose you in my prophecy to lead South Sudan to the promised land because you participated with me in merging of S, P, L and M which became SPLM, and we envisioned it to liberate our people.

What if someone who was in London during the liberation struggle takes over power from you, how would the mighty SPLM survive in his/her hand? Think over this and do something about it immediately. Dr. John Garang de Mabior shook his bald head horizontally to indicate that he was too angry with the leadership.

He moved out and turned right, as if going to American Embassy, but he again turned right, following the pavement going to Juba International Airport. At JIA, he found that it is an international airport on one side and an open place for defecation on another.

When he asked for what takes place during working hours, a patriotic officer told him we are doing nothing here. Look, we allow what’s supposed to be confiscated to fly outside with people and we also allow what’s supposed not to enter the country to enter the country. We do this because it makes us earn a lot of money. The officer then saluted Dr. John Garang and left for good. Dr. John Garang bit his lip and said, I wish people were reborn.

He proceeded to Juba town and branched left to the Central Bank of South Sudan. He was told that the Central Bank is the butcher house where they slaughter the economy. They have established a looting wing of Central Bank and named it “Black Market”.

The Central Bank tricks people every week that 3, 4 or so million USD are auctioned to elevate the value of South Sudanese Pounds, but this huge amount of money gets itself somewhere unknown and, the economy continues fluctuating. Dr. John Garang then asked, why did they put my portrait in the currency they later failed to value? I will look for ways to withdraw my portrait!

How are the citizens coping with life now, John Garang asked? A voice answered him; 7.8 million people are starving countrywide. My brilliant people, I wish I were alive, John Garang said while wiping his eyes.

He then proceeded to check on other government departments, such as that of migration and passport, Nilepet, Revenue Authority, Customs Service, among others, and he found that they are being pulled by corruption and pushed by tribalism.

The only department he smiled at upon seeing it is the National Security Service. He said, I wish there were a photocopying machine for people to photocopy this young man called Akol Koor Kuc.

While flying to Bilpam, the HQs of the army, he saw the dirtiness and dis-connectivity of Juba within itself and, with the states. At Bilpam, he was told that the only patriotic person is the FOREST; he’s the one responsible for the salary of soldiers.

Dr. John Garang then grew annoyed and returned to custom immediately, entered the mausoleum and, before entering his tomb, said, I knew South Sudan behind me would be like this. I will decide on what to do on behalf of my people, Dr. John Garang de Mabior concluded.

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.

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