By Matia Samuel Timatio
Journalists in Mundri and Mvolo counties of Western Equatoria State are denouncing the recently elected Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) new State Executive.
The journalist in the two counties said they will never welcome the planned official visit by the current State UJOSS office to their counties since they were not involved in the general elections that brought them to office.
This came after the current executive Board in Yambio in its meeting N0.1/2022 resolved that the newly elected members will visit Ibba, Maridi, Mvolo, Mundri West and East as soon as possible to meet with Journalists in those counties to conduct two days training if funds are mobilized.
In response to the resolutions of the meeting Journalists in Mundri and Mvolo counties discouraged the visit of the elected members to their counties on official visit unless on their private missions to see their relatives.
In an interview with N0.1 citizen Daily Newspaper, John Silverster Timba assistant News editor for Amadi FM said they were not informed during the formation of the Union in the State that is why they are not part of the Union of Journalists in Western Equatoria.
“Western Equatoria State has got 10 counties , when the head office from Juba went to Yambio we were not informed, we only saw over social media the election was being done and we started reacting on that but there is no response. We as the western Counties we consider that if they were conducting elections they had to alert our stations so that we send representative just to witness the elections but that one did not happen totally and that is why we are not part of Union of Journalists in Western Equatoria state” John protested.
“If they are coming here, we do not receive them to come to visit the western Counties but if they are coming for different purpose it should be fair but as a union to meet the journalists that could not happen because we have nothing to do with them and again we are not fighting for positions as they claim we need transparency and unless we call for reelection and democracy” he continued.
John said that they have no any personal issues with the union but they should consider the rest of the counties in whatever they do because some other things can be ignored thinking its small when it’s a big issue.
Mr. Rain David the News editor for Akoo FM in Mvolo County also expressed his disappointment over the issue saying the election process was not inclusive terming it illegal
“You see, when we talk about Journalism it’s like a family so if something is happening in the name of Journalists we were supposed to work as one family together and we don’t want their positions. How comes the money given by UNESCO for training was used to conduct elections or if they did not have budget for bringing Journalists from the counties, at least they could have informed us on what was going on because information is very important” Mr. Rain lamented.
He objected that it is logical when you are neglected and again the same people who ignored want to be considered saying that isn’t good thing.
“We are not against the UJOSS leadership in Yambio but if the office in Juba can sit and organize our union also here it will be ok but if not we don’t want this thing to happen again or I will not be participating in whatever they will be doing because since i have been working independent. Both Office in Juba and Yambio have never talked to us on what is happening but we have been only attacking ourselves on social media” Rain stressed
On 3rd May 2022, Mr. Oyet Patrick Charles Chairperson of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan said it was true that his office didn’t bring everybody from the counties to the Headquarter to participate in the elections because of luck of funds.
He cited that the money they used was not for conducting general elections in the states but was given by UNESCO to train journalists on constitution making process, issues with ethics, human right reporting and they used the opportunity to carry on the UJOSS general elections at the state levels.