By Rt. Rev. Moses Deng Bol
Recently we recruited Education Officer for our Relief and Development Wing (Christian Action for Relief and Development) CARD. Nine people applied for the post among them four Dinkas, three Fertites and two Luos/Jurchol. The people who were to do the interviews are CARD’s Executive Director Rev Andrew Apiny, who is a Luo and the Diocesan Administrative Secretary, Rev. William Majok, who is a Dinka.
Being aware of the mistrust created by the current wars in South Sudan and because of our guiding principles of integrity, transparency and accountability, I told Rev. Andrew that we must invite someone from Fertite community to be among the interviewers. So we invited the Head of the Department of Education at St John’s College of Theology and Development Mr Simon Luciano, who is from Fertite community, to be part of the interview panel. We also invited Government Officials from RRC and Labour Office to be part of the panel as well. Both the RRC and the labour Office sent Fertites, so there were five interviewers three Fertite, one Dinka and one Luo.
The rule was that each interviewer will award marks to each candidate according to his/her assessment of the candidate’s qualifications, abilities and knowledge in the area of education. Interestingly all the five interviewers gave more marks to a Dinka candidate who was clearly more qualified than the rest of the candidates. In fact one of the Fertites and the Luo members of the panel gave the Dinka candidate more Marks than the Dinka member of the panel. After the interviews were completed and the results announced, Rev Andrew asked the rest of the candidates who did not get the job whether anyone of them had a complaint. There was none. In fact all of them commented that if the system of recruitment and employment was done in a just, fair and transparent manner as the way you are doing here, there will be no war in South Sudan.
Luckily, we later got another project so we have now recruited a Luo candidate who was number two in the interview as Education Officer and promoted the one who got the job to a new position of Education Coordinator.
We have learn the following lessons out of this exercise;
1) It is the system, not South Sudanese, that is bad. As these young people said, if everyone in South Sudan applied the principles of EQUALITY, JUSTICE, and TRANSPARENCY (fairness in general) in all their daily activities in their sphere of influence, the result would be PEACE, UNITY and PROSPERITY.
We may not be able to convince Dr Riek and other rebel commanders to stop the current war because it is not in the sphere of our influence, but we have been able to convince the young people who applied for the position of CARD’s Education Officer that justice can be done to all South Sudanese regardless of their tribe, gender, age, skin colour, etc.
2) Dinkas are not being hated for no reason
If Dinkas were being hated by the rest of the 63 tribes just because they are Dinkas, then why did three Fertite and one Luo give higher marks to the Dinka candidate than Candidates from their own tribes?
This means that those (specially Jieng Council of elders) who are saying that Dinkas are ‘being hated by the rest of the 63 communities for no reason’ are only using that statement as propaganda in order to mobilize the masses of uneducated Dinka youth to fight the rest of the 63 tribes. Their goal is to keep President Kiir (whom they have nicknamed Bishop because of his well-known patience and mercy) in power by force (Not by the will of the people) so that they continue to loot national resources through corruption.
In other words they want the young people to do the fighting while they are doing the eating. By the way, most of these people have send their children to the best schools in the neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and even Western Countries such as Australia, UK USA etc. If they know that the rest of the 63 tribes hate the Dinka community so much that the Dinka has no choice but to defense themselves, then why are they not bringing their children to take part in the war?
Our Guiding Principles
The reason why we did the interviews this way is because we are guided by the principles of Equality (Gen 1:26-27: All are created in God’s image) and the great commandment of Loving God and your Neighbor as yourself, which means do to your neighbor what you want your neighbor to do to you.
We have summarized these principles in three words Integrity, Transparency and Accountability, which we are now using as guiding principles in all our institutions, for example, CARD, St John’s College, Northern Bhar El Internal Province, the Diocese of Wau etc.
We have now realized that this is why many Kenyans usually say that they want to elect committed Christian leaders, Kumbe they are looking for leaders who are being guided by Biblical principles and values, not just people who have been baptized, given Biblical names and attend church service on Sundays.
It is my prayer and hope that our political leaders will accept to be guided by the Biblical principles and consult church leaders on what the Bible teaches about decisions and actions they want to take, which is what the Kingdom of God is all about. It is also my prayer and hope that all South Sudanese will elect committed Christian leaders to various public offices including the church, civil society, business associations and politics so that the will of God will be done in South Sudan as it is heaven.
Footnote: The writer is the Archbishop of the Internal Province of Northern Bahr al Ghazal and a student of St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya.
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