Sunday, September 9, 2012

Legitimacy: In The Sphere of Politics
             Legitimacy it is a political word used by many in different varieties of societal day to day operations. But the real meaning of it is in politics rather than other areas of social takes. In the political community the word legitimacy is used a lot to describe certain aspects of political features: leadership legitimacy political party legitimacy or organizational legitimacy and departmental legitimacy, governmental legitimacy. The list goes on, on. Let’s take the leadership legitimacy for example.  Most of us believe that a democratic elected leader is legitimate, that is not say the election process is pure without problems. But any democratic would be leader before he or she claims the legitimacy leadership must go through the election process where she/he would be contesting other people eyeing for the same position.  

          Thus it is fair to say that the winner of the election process was a legitimate person, and therefore should be accorded power to go ahead, form a government of the people. A government of the people is a legitimate government and it is called a democratic government.  On the other hand of the political decay we have leaders who get into power through the barrel of the guns, that is juntas composed of military men and women or through a prolong war of guerrilla warfare that is authoritarianism, or through rigged election, that is autocratic or through the window or the backdoor, that is personal government or government by connection. It is where nobody asked you who the hell are you? How did you get in here?  The former is legitimate but later is illegitimate.
   Long time ago in the Anyuak land the chiefs of the Anyuak land or pa-Anyuawa conduct certain procedures to appoints titles upon their subjects. I believe certain ceremony is issued at “bura” with festive activities where the chief would announce, declared title upon select few already in his disposition.  It was done not by secret consultation but conferring with elders of the community. Thus giving the chief an overall power to announcing names of would be title men loud, and clear to the gathered people at bura, to those listening from behind the bura.

            After proceeding, than food and drink is served, followed with merry dance, and songs.  Therefore when we look back at pa-Anyuawa political culture we all can agree the process of political empowerment although not democratic as in the sense of western concept of democracy; but the question of legitimacy as we saw here was answered and completed and it was genuine. Men were titled among their peers, selected among rank and files of their social groupings; without doubt they were legitimate men because their legitimacy took place in the eyes of the majority people seated at bura, also heard from behind bura by those listening.   

Bura Aganya Cero Nykuwar:
 Bura Agayna makes you kuwro. It was Nyang Rondiel a nuer fellow by ethnicity; who boasted that unless someone was titled like him at Bura Aganya, than no one should dared questioned his authority. Again legitimacy comes to mind here, it is important in this case. Let me brief you about Bura Anganya. Hitherto, during first south Sudanese liberation movement, by the way the first south Sudanese movement name was Anyanya I.  Anyanya I then used the bura of Nykuwar as center stage for their rank and file promotions and for demotions also.  It is here that the leadership of Anyanya I announced titles, declared promotions for war-front battalions, brigades, also demotions of ranks for those who did misbehaved, and for lack of good performances. The leaders of the Anyanya I movement exactly announce titles pronounce names, declared validations  in front of the rank and file of the movement , the guerrilla forces, as you can see here their system also is the exact replica or copy of the Anyuak system of government .

Conclusion:   How you came to power is important because it is the question of legitimacy. A democratic leader; he or she must come to power in politics through political process. A traditional leadership that comes to power like ours also is legitimate because there are certain mechanism intact that checks the excess of the spoil chiefs, and his cabinets, his appointees. No one under any circumstances should call himself chief unless he was titled at bura in front of his peers. Simple, but True.    

Amhare Gilo

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