Parliament warning to media houses cannot help

Anna Nimiriano Editor in Chief Juba Monitor

Yesterday, press statement issued by Designate  Chairperson of  information for Revitalized – Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA} Paul Yoane Bonji warned media houses not to report on financial transactions of the House without consulting the relevant departments within the house.

He further said any media house that continued reporting on the same issue; its operation license would be removed from them, and so many others to be mentioned among them.  However, it was unfortunate to hear such information from a department that was expected to support media houses in the Parliament.  What Bonji said was intimidation, threat and other bad form for media houses in the country.

Reporting on the issue of money in the Parliament has not started in this August house.It started long time ago. I thought it was transparency to the public. The former speaker aired it out when 40,000 USD was paid to MPs for purchasing vehicles to facilitate their transport. Many journalists commented for it, especially when salaries of civil servants were not paid for some months. In that regard, no statement was issued, for the reason that what were said were facts.

When the current speaker was appointed, she said all MPs should open bank accounts so that their money would be transferred directly to the banks. I thought it was okay to avoid robbery cases on the streets which are common in Juba.  And the statement came from the speaker Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba, journalists picked it from her.  Taking out operation licenses of media houses stated by Bonji was beyond the coverage.No media house can allow it to happen or commit itself for it.

 If there is anything which has gone wrong in media houses, why not call Editor-in-Chiefs and Managers of those media houses and dialogue with them instead of threat which cannot help us in this critical time the country in.  Parliament is a place of discussions, why are they avoiding talks with journalists. If their activities are not covered, how can people know about what they are doing?

During the official day of opening of TNLA, President Salva Kiir  Mayardit said in 2022, there would be elections, then what would happen to MPs who will like to contest?  Are they not going to allow media houses to report on their profiles and promote them to a certain level?

Thus, the statement issued by Parliament has given bad indication to media houses in the country.

May God bless us all.

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