Journalists Kicked Out of Luweero NRM Conference

1765 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
Nalwanga is facing stiff competition from other aspirants such as Lillian Nakate, Elizabeth Lugudde, Ritah Mugalu, all NRM members who are threatening to contest as independents.

Journalists have been kicked out of the Luweero District NRM delegate’s conference as the party struggles to court other contenders for the district woman MP seat to pull out in favor of Rebecca Nalwanga, the official party candidate. This morning, more than 2000 NRM members convened at Pastoral Center in Luweero town to resolve their differences and rally support for Nalwanga.
Nalwanga is facing stiff competition from other aspirants such as Lillian Nakate, Elizabeth Lugudde, Ritah Mugalu, all NRM members who are threatening to contest as independents. They accuse the party secretariat of hand picking Nalwanga to contest in the district woman MP by-election yet she is unpopular. However, shortly before the conference got underway, journalists were kicked out of the meeting despite the fact that they were invited. 

Some of the affected journalists include Daniel Wandera of Daily Monitor, Samuel Kanyike of Bukedde, Bernard Bakalu of Radio One, Culton Scovia Nakamya of Redpepper, Ssemwanga Lutaaya of Capital Fm, Herbert Kamoga of Musana Fm and Samuel Kawooya of CBS Fm among others. Herbert Kamoga explains that they were invited by Shafik Ntege, the Luweero District NRM administrator to cover the conference where President Yoweri Museveni, the NRM party chairperson is expected to lobby the party members to rally behind one candidate.

 According to Kamoga, when they arrived at the meeting venue they were screened by the Special Force Command-SFC soldiers and given press tags to access the conference hall. He however, says three hours after two plain clothed soldiers ordered them to leave the meeting venue immediately. Kamoga says the soldiers told them that they had got instructions from above to kick them out of the conference because they were not interested in media coverage. Red Pepper’s Culton Scovia Nakamya says it is unfortunate that they wasted time their time only to be kicked out.

She suspects that there are things the party does not want to appear in the media as the party struggles to sale Nalwanga to the divided party supporters and officials. Samuel Kanyike, Vision group reporter says the decision to kick them out of the conference infringes on their right to access to information. However, the decision to lock out journalists from the conference didn’t go down well with some NRM officials. Sam Sserunjogi, the Katikamu Sub county LC III chairperson and his Luweero town council counterpart Sserunjogi have condemned the eviction of saying it is a sign of lack of transparence because there is nothing to hide.

Our attempts to get a comment from Ofwono Opondo, the NRM deputy and Chris Magezi, the SFC were futile.Shafik Ntege, the Luweero NRM District administrator has apologized to the journalists says they were kicked on an order from the party leaders. By the time of filing this story, Richard Tadwong, the minister for general duties  and Abdul Nadduli, the Luweero NRM chairperson were engaged in separate meetings with the aspirants to convince them to step down in favor of Nalwanga. President Yoweri Museveni is yet to arrive at the venue.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.