By Matia Samuel Timatio
The President for Union of Journalists in South Sudan (UJOSS) is decrying financial shortages to conduct union’s elections at the State’s level.
Mr. Oyet Patrick Charles the UJOSS president in Juba in an interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper mentioned the reasons why the elections were conducted that way.
“It’s true that we didn’t bring everybody from the counties to the headquarters because when we came to the office, we found empty papers. What is happening now is that the money we are moving with to carry out the current elections in the states was given by UNESCO,” he said.
“We do not even have a budget for that election but what we have is training which is supported by UNESCO to train journalists on the constitution making process, issues with ethics and human rights reporting so for some time now, our office in the states has not had elections. We decided that we incorporate the funded training with conducting elections but the training does not bring journalists from the counties to the headquarters but only involves those in the headquarters,” Oyet continued.
The UJOSS’ President further elaborated on the importance of doing the elections at the headquarters and their initiative to source for more funds.
He stressed that once they get support, they shall visit those counties and explain to the members, how the situation is and it’s important when the members are elected in the capital.
Further, Oyet said that, that way it is easy to coordinate things; so, when a leader is elected it’s for everybody.
“Now, we don’t have money to carry out those activities but we are trying to find funds from donors and am not working for myself but I’m working for every journalist in South Sudan,” Oyet explained.
Mr. Oyet made the remark following a condemnation by some Journalists in Western Equatoria State after a concluded general election for UJOSS at state level, in which they claimed was not inclusive.
On 28th April, UJOSS in Yambio the headquarter for WES conducted a general election for the positions of Chairperson, Secretary General and a Treasurer where Christopher Gaaniko Ginaba was elected as a Chairperson, Emmanuel Mandela as Secretary General and Flora Gume as the Treasurer.
John Silvester, the news editor with Amadi TV in Mundri County challenged the election, and rejected the elections.
“How can the Union of Journalists in the State be run by one county? We have ten counties in Western Equatoria State, but the organizers for the elections didn’t reach to inform the nine counties. We were just aware of the move after we saw it on social media and it was one day to the elections, these were unfair elections,” John said.
Another journalist in Yambio, Angelo Kuri also expressed his disappointment. He said that if UJOSS represents the State’s journalists, where are the representatives from Mundri, Mvolo, Maridi, Ibba, Tambura, Nzara and Nagero, he cautioned.
The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) was established in 2004 and is the key association representing journalistsin the engagements with the government and other organizations in thecountry. The association holds a database of both journalists working in media organizations and freelancers.