24th June 2024
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Parliament mouthpiece gags reporters against anti-Kiir endorsement sentiment

Author: Obja Okuj | Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Spokesperson of Parliament, Hon. Oliver Mori Benjamin - Credit: Obaj Okuj/Eye Radio April 22 , 2024

The spokesperson for the National Legislative Assembly on Monday issued a warning to journalists and media outlets against reporting statements made by members who denounced the recent endorsement of Salva Kiir candidature for December 2024 elections over the economic hardship.

During Monday’s session, Joseph Malual from SPLM-IO, Lakes State, questioned why the parliament remained silent about the recent rally while citizens were suffering from hunger.

Malual was later forced to apologize and retract his criticism of the SPLM’s Saturday rally, which he claimed was held at the expense of the suffering populace.

The parliament was discussing a report from the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly when Malual digressed from the agenda to address the issue of economic hardship.

Following the session, the parliamentary spokesperson, Oliver Mori, warned journalists in attendance against reporting on the incident.

“I am therefore questioning you in that. This is statements of personality attacking the symbol of the country should not not feature in your press, being  written or in aired on the radios which we have in the country,

“The Republic of South Sudan must not be the forum to undermine the image and the symbol of the Republic of South Sudan.”

Mori stated that journalists who reported on it would do so at their own risk.

“Therefore, anybody who indulges himself or herself to that, she or he will bear the consequences.  I am saying this, so that you as ladies and gentlemen of the Press should not later say well, our spokesperson of the parliament  why did  not question us from the beginning.

“I have told it to you in black and white go in peace and we expect that you will abide by what we have said in this press conference. Anybody who goes out of it, you will know the consequences and I will not be part of it.”

This is not the first instance of journalists being cautioned against reporting such matters.

Last month, security personnel in parliament censored journalists to prevent them from reporting a statement by an MP who questioned the parliament’s silence on the country’s economic hardships.

The MP, who is part of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, warned that if the parliament continued to ignore the economic situation, protests would ensue.

He was later compelled to withdraw his statement under pressure from the majority.

Additionally, a day later, another MP informed the house that the MP who made the statement was investigated by security on the same day.

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