In a decisive action against misbehavior in public office, the Governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil, dismissed Juba city’s acting Mayor, Emmanuel Khamis Richard, on Friday. This significant decision was taken in light of a controversial video that has recently been circulating on social media, causing public unrest and demanding action.
The video, which lasts for 2 minutes and 9 seconds, showcases Richard, the then-caretaker Mayor, alongside armed police, accosting street vendors near the Seventh-Day roundabout. The most alarming aspect of this footage is Richard’s clear physical assault on a female vendor, a move that has led to widespread condemnation, especially among women’s rights advocates and the general public. At the time of this incident, Richard was notably seen wielding two pistols, with his guards intimidating vendors and confiscating their goods.
The gravity of this incident cannot be understated. It’s an alarming reflection of a misuse of power and authority, especially by someone in such a significant public role. The video’s release led to immediate calls for Richard’s removal, with the national legislature, women’s rights organizations, and individual advocates demanding his dismissal within a span of 72 hours.
The repercussions of the video have been swift and decisive. In an official decree made public on the state’s press unit page, Governor Adil not only revoked Richard’s assignment but also retracted the role of the Lainya Commissioner as the caretaker of the Juba City council. In the interim, Martin Simon Wani, the Chief Executive Officer of Juba City Council, has been directed to oversee the council’s general activities until a new Mayor is duly appointed. The decree came into effect on Friday, 15th September 2023.
While the actions captured in the video are deeply concerning, the swift response from the Governor’s office is a reassuring move, emphasizing the importance of accountability and upholding the standards of public leadership. The incident serves as a reminder that no individual, irrespective of their position, is above reproach and must face the consequences of their actions.