Open letter to President Kiir on Coronavirus
Dear President Kiir,
I woke up this morning thinking about you as the Head of State and Government. Commander-in-Chief of all organized Forces, Chairperson National Taskforce on Covid-19, husband, father and grandfather too. I also woke up thinking about this DEADLY virus Covid-19 and your government responses in fighting this MONSTER.
I know my message will find its way to your office and I will appreciate if you can find some little time to read the concerns of your citizen and above all your son.
1. There is a TOTAL disconnect between your Taskforce and the Ministry of Health Technical team. Ideally, the TASKFORCE which consists of mainly politicians should listen carefully and follow the suggestions and recommendations of the Technical health team or experts. In most cases, we have seen and witnessed POLITICS leading us in this fight than SCIENCE. As citizens, we’ve also seen and witnessed the growing frustrations of our medical practitioners and the technical team. Some of them even warned us of looming disaster because of some of the decisions taken by the Presidency and the Taskforce not informed by SCIENCE. I was hoping that during your Presidency meeting at J1, you would’ve allowed the Technical team to extensively briefed you on the current situations on Covid-19 and the different scenarios or options available for you, of course with their pros and cons. This should’ve happened before any decision is taken but it seems the real technical people didn’t attend the meeting and boom we saw the official communication from your office easing those restrictions.
It is my APPEAL Mr. President that you as the National Chairperson of the Taskforce organized a meeting with the Technical team/experts and really offer your hearing ears to them. It is not enough mentioning those Covid-19 figures but WHAT’S THE SCIENCE OF COVID-19 in South Sudan context? Projections and What kind of options are available for your government to decide on?. Also, remember you don’t regularly attend the Taskforce daily meetings and you always get second hand information because there is someone informing your office. We’ll really appreciate if you can find some time to listen to the Technical team/ experts on Covid-19.
2. Revitalized your Taskforce composition and it’s mandate.
There are so many arguments out there that you should disband the Taskforce and allow the Ministry of Health handle all the issues surrounding Covid-19. However, my argument is that you instead revitalize the Taskforce and empower the Technical team. Kindly, reduce the number of POLITICANS and instead increase the number of really technical people in the Taskforce. I would suggest that include the South Sudan Doctors Union, University of Juba Medical School, Civil Society Organizations and other medical professional Unions or associations. At least, make it few representatives from this groups.
It is also important that you EMPOWER the Ministry of Health with some POWERS and MANDATE already taken away by the Political led Taskforce. Also, make sure all the decisions taken by your government are informed by the SCIENCE and the Recommendations or Suggestions presented to you by the Technical team/people.
3. Access to information;
At this critical time and difficult situation, let your government don’t get tempted to coined or censored any information regarding Covid-19. Hiding critical information on Covid-19 would endanger so many lives because they are few people who are seen as more important than the others. We should be led by the general principle of “EVERY CITIZEN IS EQUAL IN THE EYES OF LAW”. Let your government continue to provide citizens with the CORRECT, DETAIL and ACTUAL information. Also, Access to Information is a Constitutional right of every citizen. It is my APPEAL that your government doesn’t in any way hide or coined any critical information on Covid-19 that would’ve saved so many lives.
4. Reconsider your DECISION on OPENING up Bars and Restaurants;
Mr. President, up-to-now the churches and mosques faithfuls are complaining of your decision to relax restrictions on Bars and Restaurants but wouldn’t do the same to the churches and the mosques. Some of the citizens are saying that such decisions were informed by the need to collect enough revenues for your government because of total drastic fall in (our only source of revenue) oil world market prices reading negative. Mr. President, we are a nation driven by the POWER of God and in fact, our National Anthem start with the word “OH GOD, WE PRAISE AND GLORIFIED YOU, FOR YOUR GRACE ON SOUTH SUDAN”. It is still absurd that we can open BARs and Restaurants not for TAKE AWAYS but for people to sit there but also practice SOCIAL DISTANCING. Am still here wondering whether uncontrollable drunkards can practice social distancing than the sober Churches and mosques faithfuls. Which crowd is easy to control? Those in the churches or mosques or those in the Bars. It is my APPEAL that you reconsider this decision.
5. Considering TOTAL LOCKDOWN;
As you consider this option, think about the low-income earners and your government package in addressing their daily needs. Although, I support this option but also consider the needs of the poor people who struggle and work every day to put food on the table. Indeed, let this option be guided by science and the Technical people in the Ministry of Health advice you accordingly. All efforts must be geared towards saving lives!
6. Support the MEDICAL WORKERS;
Mr. President consider addressing the medical workers. They’ve done tremendous job in saving lives and responding tirelessly to this pandemic under difficult circumstances. It is also absurd and heartbreaking that most of them are not getting their incentives on time. It is my APPEAL that your government consider REASONABLE PACKAGE for the medical workers. They also need motivation and protection from the government. Protection of medical workers at the frontline fighting Covid-19 should be your TOP PRIORITY.
I thank you Mr. President and it is my hope that my message gets to you.
God bless you Mr. President.
God bless South Sudan.
FOR JUSTICE, LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY.
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