Minister Makuei tells journalists “don’t go astray” so they are not jailed
December 10th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei Lueth has told journalists that they should not go astray in contradiction to the media laws in the country because it is the same law that give them the freedom to exercise their job.
Michael Makuei, the country’s outspoken information minister, was speaking during a symposium held in the country’s capital Juba, according to the daily Juba Monitor, last month.
“These freedoms and rights are given according to the law, it doesn’t mean you step on the toes of others,” Michael Makuei Lueth said yesterday during the first National Media Policy Symposium in Juba. “The most important thing is to exercise these rights within the law. Don’t go astray because the law gives you that freedom.”
Makuei denied rumors that the government is using the Media Authority to suppress and silent journalists and critics saying it is aimed at showing journalists the way to go on their duties.
“There are some who have misunderstood the Media Authority. They are saying it is another weapon of oppression used by the government. This is not correct and every journalist is supposed to abide by the law. This is why the Media Authority is here-to show the journalists the direction,” Makuei said.
Makuei then threatened to jail some journalists whom he said would step into his way and will possibly demand compensation he said will be too much for the journalists to pay.
“Some of the journalists have not yet been taken to the court but I’m sure some will go soon because if you step on my toes, I will take you to the courts and demand compensation that you will not be able to pay,” he said.
“It doesn’t give you the freedom to step on my toes and I keep quiet because it is your right,” Makuei said of the Media Law in South Sudan. “There’s no law that will allow you to do that so my advice to the journalists is just follow the law and you’ll not be in trouble with anybody.”