Opinion

How can we use our constitution fairly?

Today, I will be educating my readers on how we can use our constitution rightly and fairly, in order to avoid harming others out of their own will. This will also tell us whether we really know how to apply our constitutional rights justly throughout our daily lives; in the court of law, at schools, in our families, at marriage places, in government, in the market places and in the public sphere.

Do we respect the vulnerable people who have no rights to voice-up their voices towards certain demands and needs? For example, if they are in need of clean water and food? Or we think we are above the law, because we are the people in power and we feel that everything is up to us and no one has the right to question? Or you think no one has the legal obligation/right to ask what is wrongly going-on in our families and in the government.

These are the common mistakes we make and this is definitely where some of us also go wrong. My analysis shows that the constitution of South Sudan has not been used correctly or rightful to respect the rights of others. It was wrongly used and exercised by some individuals and the people in the authority to oppress and suppress the weak out of their right obligations.

Those who were in the authority and have power to express themselves think the constitutional powers have been granted to them and the head of state, to do whatsoever they want to do without being asked to account for the wrong doings.

They think our constitution is their family property, not for the public and the country’s political set-up. They do not understand the principles of the constitution they were talking about and the values of human beings are never respected in one way or the other. See how our constitution has been used carelessly against others, for instance, when a poor man’s and/or woman’s land is grabbed by the powerful ones, the judgment always comes out in favor of the powerful ones.

Well, if the case happened to reach the court of law, there is always a serious denial of justice to the poor ones. They don’t have power to defend themselves since they don’t have access to power and money to argue strongly against the rich and the powerful.

So many of people’s lands or plots have been grabbed here in Juba city and elsewhere across the country, from the poor ones, by those in powerful positions yet the cases end up dying in the court of law to pave way for a just society. Normally, if the poor ones happen to look for their justices through the legal process, they were in most cases threatened to death, hence they end-up abandoning the case against their rights instead of fighting for justice.

The employees’ salaries always delay for months, but if these employees try to ask for their money, which is their right, they are always denied knowledge of the truth and often termed as inciters who work against the government. For example, some people say ignorantly that it is not the right of these employees to ask or demonstrate for what is righteously theirs.  It is against the constitution.

These are the people who think they know everything and they interpreted the constitution wrongly against the weaker ones. They were too defensive either because the person in-charge came from their own community or they are politically motivated. The President often dismissed his cabinet members whenever he feels like or wishes, and if the issue is raised, some people turn to defend this move, saying it is a constitutional right granted to the president, although this is not the true justification over the matter. They always say; it is the president’s right and obligation to fire whosoever is not following his commands and directives. This is exactly where we go wrong most times because some are using the constitution as an excuse tool to threaten their opponents from voicing their rights.

To be frank, there is always a limit in the use of the constitution and no one should go beyond this boundary in our country’s political set-up. This does not mean all the powers and obligations were granted to the President and other leaders to do whatsoever they wanted to do against the innocent people, who are always the victims of circumstances. It does not also mean that citizens can do anything to intimidate their innocent brothers and sisters outside the constitution.

Therefore, those who are voicing up their thoughts about the constitution should be mindful of what they are talking and telling the general public about the use of this same constitution in a meaningful way. Otherwise, they are misleading individuals with these negative thoughts based on trial-lines of affiliations.

Waking up from sleep does not tell you or anybody in the authority that it is my constitutional right to dismiss the judges or the employees who have been striking for their rights. That is unconstitutional and those who are wrongly supporting this constitution must know it right from today. It is a violation of people’s rights if they are always denied access justice and freedom of expression and determine what they want to do for the betterment or welfare of their country and their families.

Whether you are a common citizen or someone in the authority, know that the constitution is meant for everyone, including animals. so you should not joke with this important tool to suppress and intimidate your own people against their will, this is unacceptable!

The writer is a political analyst reachable via: modijamesladu@yahoo.com

By James Ladu Modi Asuk Gwate

 

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