The office of the first vice president of South Sudan has accused South Sudan Television based in Juba (SSTV) of censoring news and stories from speeches that involve H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
The peace agreement signed in August 2015 stipulated that there would be freedom of speech for both parties: ruling government and the recently returned government of the rebels.
As most people know, the violence and fighting in South Sudan has not abated despite the return of Machar to Juba and being sworn in.
According to popular belief, SSTV was transformed into an independent corporation last month and became the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) since last month.
Financed by the South Sudan Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and headed by Minister Micheal Makuei Lueth, it is expected to be independent and non prejudicial to Machar and his team.
Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak says STV management continues to censor messages disseminated from the Office of the First Vice President (Dr. Machar).
SSTV does not censor all messages and broadcasts some meetings and speeches in communities and churches but holds back the political speeches.
Machar’s speeches with the people who have been visiting him are often not aired.
This is not only a failure on the part of the TV station but it is also a reflection on the Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
“The management of the TV has been illegally censoring whatever message that comes from the Office of the First Vice President,” Dak said.
He says while they broadcast some of his official meetings and speeches in churches, they yet censor the contents and remove unwanted ones.
“It is worse with the speeches he has been making to community leaders and members who have been visiting him at his Jebel Kujur residence.”
The TV management, or the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for that matter, has completely refused to broadcast such interactions with the public.
“I myself have taken to the SSTV such video clips and messages but none of them has been broadcasted for the past two weeks. This war mentality rivalry needs to stop and the TV should serve the entire nation and its leaders!”