Buy Our Writers A Coffee

Subscription Amount. Min £2

Members of Parliament attend proceedings in Juba, South Sudan, August 2, 2021. Photo AFP


South Sudan media rights groups condemned comments by a key parliament member who said that news organizations could have their licenses revoked if they report on parliamentary expenditures — including lawmaker salaries — without prior authorization from the speaker.

Paul Youane Bonju, who is the chairperson-designate of the information committee in South Sudan's reconstituted National Legislative Assembly, said journalists risk being sued if they do not follow what he termed the proper procedure for reporting on lawmakers' financial transactions.

"Some [reporters] are new in the field and I need to bring them on board by trying to tell them the right procedures if they visit the parliament, because the parliament is a body that enacts laws," he said in a news conference last week.

"If you are coming to engage with such a body, you must also be conversant of how to go about it," Bonju said. "In some instances, some of the media, instead of coming to me or going to the office of the clerk, sometimes they contact either the staffs, or they get the information from sources that are not authorized to release some of the information."

Bonju cited media reports five years ago about $40,000 that was allotted to lawmakers by President Salva Kiir for allowances and car loans.

The reports about the allotment caused a widespread backlash in the world's newest country, where the government owes many workers back salaries and the average teacher makes less than $400 per year.

Media groups say Bonju's comments are an attempt to conceal information from the public as South Sudan attempts for forge a shaky democracy.

Micheal Duku, executive director of the Association for Media Development in South Sudan, said parliamentary members cannot stop the media from reporting on their work which is in the public interest.

"The media is regulated by law and when it comes to information that is categorized, there are classified information and unclassified information," Duku told VOA's South Sudan in Focus. "So long as this falls under unclassified information, the public has the right to know."

Bonju's comments come as South Sudan journalists are facing increasing pressures on their reporting.

Three journalists recently were detained, and a radio station was closed as the government clamped down on efforts by activists to stage what they called a peaceful public uprising.

Agents also detained a government broadcaster after he allegedly declined to report news about recent presidential decrees on the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation airwaves.

South Sudan ranks 139th out of 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, in which 1 is the freest.

The reconstituted legislature was inaugurated in August this year by Kiir under the leadership of Jemma Nunu Kumba as speaker of the house.

In an interview with South Sudan in Focus, Bonju said his comments were aimed at clarifying parliamentary procedures for press coverage.

"I was telling them, 'Look, I am not warning you, but I am rather cautioning you to be sure that if you want anything to do with emolument of the MPs, please contact the relevant offices, the relevant departments,'" he said. - Waakhe Simon Wudu, Voice of America

About IEA Media Ltd

Informer East Africa is a UK based diaspora Newspaper. It is a unique platform connecting East Africans at home and abroad through news dissemination. It is a forum to learn together, grow together and get entertained at the same time.

To advertise events or products, get in touch by info [at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447957636854.
If you have an issue or a story, get in touch with the editor through editor[at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447886544135.

We also accept donations from our supporters. Please click on "donate". Your donations will go along way in supporting the newspaper.

Get in touch

Our Offices

London, UK
+44 7886 544135
editor (@)
Slough, UK
+44 7957 636854
info (@)

Latest News

Eastern Africa police games kick off in Rwanda

Eastern Africa polic...

KIGALI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The fourth edition of games for police institutions from eastern Afric...

Over 40 Kenyans sue Facebook

Over 40 Kenyans sue...

Forty-three Facebook content moderators in Kenya are suing the social media site's parent company Me...

Shareholders of Uganda's Bank of Baroda to vote to raise capital

Shareholders of Ugan...

Bank of Baroda in Kampala Uganda. PHOTO | NMG Shareholders of Uganda’s Bank of Baroda are this week...

People-centered health system redesign is key to universal health

People-centered heal...

A wellness-based health system can only work if it is owned and driven by individuals in how they l...

For Advertisement

Big Reach

Informer East Africa is one platform for all people. It is a platform where you find so many professionals under one umbrella serving the African communities together.

Very Flexible

We exist to inform you, hear from you and connect you with what is happening around you. We do this professionally and timely as we endeavour to capture all that you should never miss. Informer East Africa is simply news for right now and the future.

Quality News

We only bring to you news that is verified, checked and follows strict journalistic guidelines and standards. We believe in 1. Objective coverage, 2. Impartiality and 3. Fair play.

Banner & Video Ads

A banner & video advertisement from our sponsors will show up every once in a while. It keeps us and our writers coffee replenished.