“Kiir went against the nominee of senior party leaders, named his choice”, Gen. Kuol Manyang on the position of Acting SPLM Secretary-General
According to the 2018 Lobonok SPLM party extraordinary meeting resolutions, it was agreed that the next party Secretary-General should be a Senior SPLM official.
This is exactly what powerful SPLM political bureau members did during the nomination of a new Secretary-General last week.
This decision- just like another disrespect of law- was disrespected, dishonoured, and thrown under the bus by President Kiir.
Speaking to the Media in audio dropped to NCMP, South Sudan’s former Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, Lt. Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk confirmed that President Kiir went against the decision of SPLM members in the nomination of the party Acting Secretary-General by appointing his own nominee.
According to Gen. Kuol, Senior SPLM members, including Presidential Advisor Awet Akot, Jemma Nunnu Kumba and VP James Wani Igga seconded his nomination by Former Presidential Affairs Minister, Nhial Deng Nhial.
“After the appointment of former Secretary-General, Jemma Nunnu Kumba as Speaker of National Assembly, it was resolved that new party Secretary-General be appointed”.
“We were given an emergency meeting notice without agenda”.
“Party Chairman Salva Kiir opened the meeting by introducing the agenda. He said that the purpose of the meeting was to nominate a new party Secretary-General”, said Kuol.
“Nominations were done. Comrade Nhial Deng nominated me, and it was seconded by senior party members like James Wani Iga, Jemma Nunnu Kumba, and Awet Akot”, he continued.
“After a long silence, Cde. Kiir interjected,’ said, ‘can’t I also nominate as I’ve the right?’. We all said, “yes, you can”.
“Then he named his choice, Cde Lam Both”, said Kuol.
After Kiir’s nomination, a long silence befell the meeting room when Kuol broke the silence. He accepted the President’s nomination and apologized to his comrades who’d nominated and seconded his nomination.
The former Governor of Jonglei State said that he’d turned down the advances by several officials who tipping him to become the party Secretary-General.
According to him, he’d served enough and it was time to focus on his private life, rather than remaining in politics.
“Several people approached me. I refused. I’d served enough as Minister and governor respectively. I want to focus on private life”.
“After their persistence, I accepted to contest if nominated. I, however, assured them that I was never going to campaign for the position”.
Kuol also confirmed the alleged appointment of Tut Gatluak Manime and Deng Athorbei into the political bureau of the SPLM party.
Kuol said that Lam’s eminent appointment was welcomed as he’s an experienced member of the party.
Kuol said that Kiir has a right as Chairman to appoint a party Secretary General, although the constitution talks of elections.
The disrespect for the rightful procedures recommended by law isn’t new. It’s alleged that Kiir threatened and warned Members of Parliament not to oppose his decision while nominating Nunu Kumba as speaker of Parliament.
Kuol said that Deng Athorbei’s appointment is deserved as he’d been an integral member of the party during the liberation struggle.
He also lauded the appointment of Tut Gatluak as he’s been a great servant of the party and Country since crossing over from NCP in 2006.
Lt. Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk has served in different portfolios since 2005. He was previously governor of Jonglei State for 5 years. He later served in the Defense Ministry for 7 years after the outbreak of civil war in 2013.