May 7, 2014 (SSNA) — Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, the RSS current Minister for Information & Broadcasting, was said to have graduated from the University of Khartoum with a Law degree in 1975. However, the way he is handling and speaks out Government issues are not at all, a way in which a person who is a Lawyer by profession should add in to go on. That is why we say a Law Degree/legal knowledge he acquired from that University was either forged or it might had been expired afterward. There was nothing impossible during Jafer Nimeri’s regime. It might be piece of Abel Alier and Nemeri’s strategy to buy Southern support. Who knows? Apart from that, cash could then play multiple roles. Mr. Telar Riing Deng, the current legal advisor to President Kiir, had to cheat the nation for a long time, before.
I did not study Law myself. But as we all know how a person with a genuine legal knowledge behaves, particularly when it comes to legal issues or constitutional matters. Hon. Makuei is supposed to act in accordance with the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan. Irrespective of which ministry he heads. Take for instance, Mass Media independency and SPLM-G4 recent and current political case. The Transitional Constitution in Article 24 (2) says “All levels of government shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media in the Republic of South Sudan” Also Article 19 (3) says “In all civil and criminals proceedings, every person shall be entitled to fair and public hearing by a competent court of law in accordance with procedures prescribed by law”.
Hon. Makuei swore when he took office before the President that “ I Mr. Michael Makuei Lueth, do hereby swear by the Almighty God /solemnly affirm/, that as a Republic of South Sudan Minister for Information & Broadcasting, I shall be faithful and bear true faith and shall diligently and honestly discharge my duties and responsibilities and strive to foster the development and welfare of all South Sudanese; that I shall obey, preserve and defend the constitution and abide by the law; and that I shall protect and promote the unity of the people of South Sudan and consolidate the democratic decentralized system of government and preserve the integrity and dignity of the people of South Sudan, so help me God/God is my witness”. Supposedly, Hon. Makuei should have been abiding by law or as he swore before the President/quoted above.
Divergently, Makuei has been at odds with media houses from the day he was appointed as a Minster of Information to date. He has not guaranteed the freedom of press as stated in Article 24 (2) that there shall be a free and equitable access to public electronic media resources. One of the Articles/of the law he swore to respect or abides by. Mr. Makuei does not encourage the independent media and journalism. Instead, Minister Makuei, seems ready always to fight Journalists even physically. He is serious by all means. Again, when the SPLM-G4 freed by a court through the Minister of Justice, following an exhausted procedures were made by special court of law. That is to say, after all alleged evidences against those four political leaders were found weak by the court, in conformity with the law. As stipulated in Article 19 (3) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.
Hon. Michael, some days latter, absurdly came up with the strange idea and threatened the SPLM-G4 that if they don’t cooperate with the government, the government shall re-jailed them. Or have their case re-open. One wonders. Under which article that talks of re-jailing a person who has been declared not guilty by Court of Law? Like Mr. Pagan Amum, Dr. Majak D Agot, Gen. Oyai Deng and Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth. Because these four SPLM-G4 former political detainees tried in court and were confirmed not guilty. That was why they were freed by court of law. And blessed by President Kiir who said “These four SPLM leaders are now free like any other citizens and have right to go anywhere that they would like to go to”.
Yet, Makuei was/is still insisting with such scenario of re-jailing them. Hence, this style/attitude of Makuei Lueth is what let me to conclude that one of the following two is correct. 1. Either there was something fishy with Hon. Makuei’s legal document/law degree he was awarded by University of Khartoum. 2. Or the legal knowledge he acquired in that University has completely expired afterward, during the 21 years of civil wars.
The author, a concerned South Sudanese, can be reached on [email protected].