Jubek State in South Sudan has banned night clubs and daytime alcohol sales in bars. It has also ordered couples to produce marriage certificates before booking rooms in hotels. It is unclear if the moves are simply about morals or political control.
Jubek State in South Sudan is the home of the country's capital, Juba. If the Jubek leadership is to be taken seriously, one of the State's chief problems is moral decadence: bars that open during the day, night clubs that open during the night and unmarried couples who use hotels and lodges. Horrified by the sins of the people of Jubek, the leadership decided to brief the President, Mr. Salva Kiir of the raft of measures it proposes to take.
Jubek State issued a gubernatorial decree to stop "the discos" and "also to stop opening the bars during the day time". Bars will now be opened from 5 pm to around 10 pm and night clubs are totally banned. The reason? Augustino Jadalla Wani, the Jubek State governor said, "Because what is happening there is really, very dangerous for the future of this country. You cannot imagine the young girls, 12 years, 13 years, you get them in disco areas. And some places, even the lodges inside the town, they use something called take away, these are young girls, take away. You can imagine human beings, we name them to be take away. That one is totally destroying the future of the coming generations. That is why we are serious and we are going to make sure that the discos are not working in this country until we make sure that there is stability..."
This is not all. Wani also said, "Again we passed a resolution that we need to introduce, especially in the hotels, if somebody comes to a hotel with a girl or a woman, he must produce the marriage certificate. This is what we want to introduce."
The Jubek leadership is so impressed with its solutions that it wants to pass on this last resolution to the national government so it becomes national law. Unwittingly, the requirement to produce marriage certificates excludes traditionally married couples from booking hotel rooms together. In fact, all the measures expose a myopic approach to solving problems. If age restrictions are the problem, why close down all night clubs and bars during the day? What happened to enacting age restriction laws and enforcing them? Soon, the Jubek leadership will think it is a good idea to close down all hotels because people are having premarital and underage sex in them. The measures are disproportionate, unspecific and lazy. Many people will lose their jobs and businesses because of these unfortunate bans.
It is easy to suspect that the Jubek government is using the war against immorality as a proxy war against political opponents. Protesters will take to the streets on the 16th of May in demonstrations against misrule. The closure of bars during the day and the ban of night-clubs might be an attempt to preempt any sort of political uprising.
Header Image: Juba TV
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