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Acting Juba Mayor widely condemned for slapping female vendor

Author: Staff Writer | Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Emmanuel Khamis, the Acting Mayor of Juba and Commissioner of Lainya County - Courtesy

Netizens have taken to social media to criticize Juba City’s acting Mayor after a video purported him slapping a female vendor following a crackdown on roadside sellers.

It’s not clear when the video was taken.

But in a 2-minute and 9-second video clip, the acting Mayor accompanied by armed police and others, stormed vendors along the Seventh-Day Ministries Round-about.

The acting Mayor and his team were seen chasing vendors from the roadsides. He was also seen with two pistols.

In the video seen by Eye Radio, a female retailer could be seen running with her belongings as a policeman approached her asking to surrender her items, but she was intercepted.

As she was stopped, the acting Mayor angrily dashed towards her and slapped her on the left cheek.

She appeared hurt in her left hand and left her mosquito nets and mats on the ground. But the policeman picked them up and loaded them into a Toyota Landcruiser.

Many other vendors fled the assault and had their stuff mainly mosquito nets and mats confiscated.

This video of the acting mayor angered South Sudanese online, with some calling it an act of bad and poor leadership.

Rita Lopidia, the Chief Executive Officer of Eve Organization wrote on her Facebook: “So it is just so easy for the mayor to slap a woman on the street just because her fault is to make ends meet, at least she is hustling and it is clean money to feed her family. Let the mayor go and handle those who are killing the economy of this country. Mr. Mayor, a real man do not slap women. Stop the violence against women.”

Minagano John Kape, an activist wrote:Shame on Juba City Council. Shame on the Acting Mayor of the Juba city council. This video is so heartbreaking and raises a lot of questions. Does the Juba city Mayor have the capacity to affect change in the city when he obviously lacks the capacity to address issues peacefully without resorting to violence? Why did he slap the vendor? What sort of leadership is he demonstrating? Why is the Mayor moving with a pistol? She asked.”

He said “This is a very big mistake for someone holding a position of power to act this way. We are a country and everything needs to be handled according to the laws of our country. This is too much and should be condemned strongly without reservation by the intellectuals across South Sudan and beyond.”

“A very prominent leader slapping a female vendor? Isn’t that a physical assault? Is that part of the Mayor’s right to slap people in the streets? Wondered musician Menimen.

Yeka Peter wrote on Facebook “That’s a very unlawful act by the acting Mayor Khamis. This reflects the high level of arrogance and low level of leadership in him.”

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