By Dak Buoth Gabriel
March 18, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Going by the word ‘‘hybrid’, it mean SSSAK electoral commission 2015/6 should comprised of senior students selected and unanimously approve by all individual stakeholders within the students fraternity. Doing so will help us avert the way other commissions had failed in the past. As you may fondly recall, the previous SSSAK leadership had formed three electoral commissions in 2013 but those commissions later died a natural death before partaking what they supposed to do.
The last electoral commission was led by Majok Chol, the second commission which was constituted by then head of the students’ council was led by Luala T. Abraham and the first ever electoral commission was established by the former SSSAK Chairperson Cde. Chol Gabriel before he was contentiously purged in a disputed resolution that was later nullified by the students’ council at a meeting held at Railway club on 27th September 2013; that Chol Gabriel’s commission was led by senior counsel Garang Malual.
Disgustingly, i challenge those who are now bickering and politicking in the streets of Nairobi to lividly ask two fundamental questions regarding the formation and failure of the aforementioned commissions; Who then constituted those teams and why did they failed to execute their mandate as prescribed for under the SSSAK constitution 2010? Voltaire said; judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers; for a good question is one that raises a fundamental problem in knowledge.
Tracing such throwbacks doesn’t mean I am attributing the failure of the previous SSSAK election to the above mentioned individuals. These are colleagues whom I knew personally that have tangible record in SSSAK. They are morally upright and uphold distinctive respect for the rule of law and constitutionalism. They aren’t to be blame at all for what we didn’t do right; as such I exonerated them for anything that might have brought our Association into disrepute.
Predictably, in bid to find answers for such questions, if you meet someone who is not a real SSSAK insider, s/he will answer you alluding that the reasons why SSSAK election didn’t take place in 2013 was simply because of the ongoing war in south Sudan and that election didn’t simply because of a certain document or treaty signed by few former SSSAK members some of whom have now resurfaced. Such arguments do not hold any water in my judgment; and I will love to be provided with a sober flat form to explain lengthily and lividly rather than timidly for the good of our Association.
Nevertheless, this opinion isn’t written to criticize what happened in the past nor is it jotted down to ridicule the views other colleagues may holds on the same. It is rather an article suggesting the way forward in view to have real democratic transition.
Objectively, the rationale behind this proposed hybrid or rainbow electoral commission 2015/6 include inter alia; to bring about utmost certainty in the immediate conduct of the impending SSSAK election and transparency in the entire process; and to avoid a scenario where an electoral commission is form than later end up being sabotage or antagonize by the same team that formed it as witnessed in the past events et cetera et cetera.
The formation of a hybrid commission shouldn’t be misinterpreted for politic nor for power sharing with other SSSAK splitter group that claims responsibility to establish the electoral commission. It is therefore aimed at looking at how best to establish a well-structured, inclusive, competent electoral commission that can swiftly expedite the election exercise devoid of any undue influence from the executives committee. Should this idea be misconstrued to mean politics, than it shall be known that its politics of principles and forward-thinking other than mere rhetoric has it has always been.
The hybrid SSSAK electoral commission can be form from the two existing commissions that are currently lying in the south Sudanese Embassy’s premise. Certainly, when all the concern parties complement each other‘s work by bring together their expertise and efforts to achieve our set goal, we can be assured of a fruitful results.
On the same note, the students’ council should also constitute a SSSAK PETITION AND APPEAL COMMITTEE. This committee can deal with any disputes that may arise from the election exercise. Logically, looking best at how competitive this students election has become from the onset; and the underlying interests that elicited the current politics of who should form or who should not form electoral commission, I found it tenable and timely that we ought to have in place the petition and appeal committee to handle the election disputes. Forming this committee now is easier and safer than doing it in the later date when the matter to be resolve has already ripen.
Ordinarily, Electoral disputes may arise in number of ways; one being the manner in which the Electoral College registry have been mishandled which normally have a great impact in influencing the voting pattern and also compromised the integrity of the voting process as it affected the accuracy, transparency and accountability of the electoral process. There can also come a question of legitimacy and credibility of certain contestants and vote counting plus the ultimate announcement of the election result etc. In that regard, should there be any contestants who later feel aggrieved that the exercise hasn’t been conducted in conformity with the basic electoral principles and rules of the universal suffrage; s/he can table his claims formally before that committee.
Legally, formation of such committee is anchored in Article 16(1) subsection (v) of SSSAK constitution 2010. Should we find this proposal viable, we can simply agree that, let the two proposed commissions which are presently at Ambassador‘s desk be amalgamated; and after emerging the duo lists, we could say let the 7 among the 14 commissioners be posted for the electoral commission than the other 7 can be commissioned as a petition and appeal committee, thereafter we can have all the 14 commissioners included in the electoral process without further delay. In so doing there could be no uncertainty as to whether the students’ election would be carried out as scheduled or not.
Once this proposal is received faithfully in its current form as sketched therefrom, we can now discuss how to allocate the expenses and the expenditure based on what roles they are mandated to partake. We would first prioritize the electoral commission after which the petition and appeal committee would be cater for; if the petition and appeal committee would be given something for their office, they would again be reminded that, in case they did not hear any case, that amount allocated to them will be given back to the SSSAK elect 2015/6.
Compatriots, it is common knowledge that SSSAK was wittingly stabbed at the back in 2013, it bleeds to death and it was buried. We clamoured unfalteringly using all our energy, intellect, time and with our limited resource to enable its resurrection and resurrection it did.
I must attest that the quest to revitalized SSSAK has been a walk on roof; we have been insulted and assaulted, I guessed you must have taken a glimpse of an article recently published in one of the social media by one known colleague here in Nairobi’s central business district. I choose to ignore his clumsy allegations aimed at injuring or lower down my character as right thinking member of African society. Wisdom dictates that it’s necessary sometime to avoid using the same weapon or implying similar venom thrown or spate unto you.
At first, when we begin to know each other, I thought he was progressive and honest budding intellectual of social science, little did I know he would disapprove my good hold on him.
Since then I have been grappling with the content of his article either to live with it or respond in manner he does not anticipated just like I didn’t imagined he would parrot and peddle such falsehood and weird propaganda against my person.
They say ‘‘If you are in hiding, don’t light fire’, African proverb, Surprisingly, he erred in intellectual ethic by refusing to tell us his real name and or leave behind an email nor a cell phone which is unusual and unethical in the literary tradition. His decision to withhold his real identity and contacts beneath his article throw doubt on the credibility of all the allegations he parroted against me and the rest of SSSAK executives whom he adversely mentioned in the same light.
Notwithstanding, i applauded the editors of that blog for being too kind and sympathetic to him, for if they didn’t permit his incomplete article to go on air, perhaps I wouldn’t have known what is in the heart and soul of this country man.
For your information, we had vowed never to retracted from the theme that has been guiding us; that is ‘‘organize not agonized’’ we shall do everything within our disposal to do that which favors the public interest in due course. ‘‘Justice be our shielder’’ Kenya National anthem.
The writer is I. Chairman of the South Sudan Students’ Association in Kenya (SSSAK); the opinions raise in this article do not necessarily represent the views of other I. SSSAK Executives, he can be reach for comments via firstname.lastname@example.org