Nearly three months since Bakhita Radio shut down, the administration of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba has decided Monday to meet the management and general staff of the Radio to discuss ways on how to reopen the station.
Bishop Santo Laku Pio the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese who chaired the meeting told the staffs that the diocese looked and studied the situation of the radio and decided to cut the staff from 32 to 16 if the radio is to run well.
He did not mention when the station would be on air but said the staff should prepare as the Church is soon calling the press to inform the public on the opening.
Laku said the date for the Press conference would be decided by Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro after he (Laku) briefs Lukudu of the meeting with the Radio Staff.
The Bishop said the Radio was running amidst technical, administrative and financial ambiguity that prompted the diocese to act to rescue the station from risky operations.
He threw the blame for such Operations not only on single side but on triple including the Bishops, the diocese secretariat and the Radio Administration.
The staff of the Radio who took long to respond to words from the Bishop in the meeting remains in dilemma who would be the Lucky 16 to be retained and move on with the Voice of the church along doubts on the nature of the downsize though the Bishop had said it would be gradual until the end of each staff contract that ends in December 2014.
In what seemed more religiously handled remarks the Bishop informed members at the meeting that Bakhita Radio would start operations without local languages program saying the radio is in the heart of South Sudan capital city Juba on the political side while on religious side Juba is the mother of the other dioceses in South Sudan’s Catholic Church and could not run few local languages leaving out the rest of the people in the 64 tribe’s country.
Bakhita Radio was running programs in local languages including Bari, Lulubo, Acholi, Dinka, Lokoya, Nuer and Madi.
Laku said the rest of the programs the radio was running would be in place except the said without pointing on what to do with political programs though cautioned for priority on evangelization saying Catholic and religious News should be at the top.
Little did the Catholic Church administration in Juba realize that their own station had problems until the South Sudan security shut it down on 16 August for purportedly having aired news reflective of conflict that erupted Friday 15th August in Bentiu on both sides involved in the South Sudan Mid December civil war.
Though security returned the keys of the Radio nearly a month after shut down, the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba still keeps the station padlocked awaiting opening.