JOURNALISTS CELEBRATE THEIR DAY AMIDST NUMEROUS CHALLENGES

The Uganda Journalists Association a mother body for all journalists in the country says that unless we are united as an industry the unfair treatment by some government agencies and individuals is likely not to stop.

“Many journalists, mostly those who cover opposition campaigns, riots and conflicting public gatherings have found themselves victims of the attacks meted out when security forces try to block or stop them access in some places” president Mathias Rukundo complains.

Today the world commemorates the World Freedom Day under the theme; ‘’Information as a Public Good.’’ The world is celebrated on every 3rd of May.

UJA president Mathias Rukundo explains that the disunity among journalists and media owners will continue costing journalists a lot, this was during commemoration of the world press day.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT and National Guidance Vincent Bagiire says that his ministry and security agencies are working on a good relationship plan to avoid conflicts.

The acting chairperson Uganda Human Rights Commission Katebalirwe Amooti notes that the commission has registered several complaints of assault against journalists by security agencies.

“We are doing all we can to bring this human rights violation to an end, says Katebalirwe.

Members of the Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) have condemned the repeated brutality against media practitioners by state agencies and security personnel.

“Journalists and media practitioners are key in sharing information, awareness creation and speaking for the voiceless, something which makes them key in decision making and development of a country” says MPs. 

As pre World Press Freedom day, the MPs  played a friendly football match with journalists in Northern Uganda under the Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) as a way of cementing relationships and cooperation between the two actors.  

The match which was played at Pece War Memorial Stadium in Gulu City ended 2-1 in favor of the journalists. 

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP) Betty Aol Ocan said that the rights of journalists and media freedom should be upheld in the country instead of being infringed on by state actors.  

She explained that much as the constitution recognizes the operation of journalists in the country, it has equally kept mute on many unbecoming issues that are affecting the good working environment for the journalists. 

She stated among others, beating of journalists while executing their official duties, lack of support, destruction of their equipment as well as gagging media freedom and access to information.  

Aol attributed the statement to the battering of journalists by security agencies right from this year`s general election campaign, elections and the aftermath of elections.  

Phillips Polly Okin Ojara, the Chairperson Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) equally raised concerns over the repeated brutalization of media practitioners being witnessed in the country yet nothing much is done to bring the perpetrators to book. 

He also condemned some MPs who were faulted for meting brutality against journalists who were executing their lawful duties. 

Okin pledged support and demand for speedy investigations through the floor into matters regarding brutality against journalists.  

Gilbert Olanya, the APG Secretary tasked other members of parliament to spearhead the campaign aimed at creating good working environments to the media.  

Catherine Lamwaka, the Omoro district woman member of parliament also asked the media practitioners to focus on developmental issues while performing their work.

On the other hand, Simon Wokorach the Male Mp-elect for Aswa County urged both security agencies and all persons to respect the rights of journalists in order for a just and fair world.  

Charles Akena, the Administrator NUMEC also asked security forces, journalists, politicians, members of the public and all stakeholders to coexist in order to promote democracy. 

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