Mengo Information Minister Asks Journalists to Confront Media Gag

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In short
Kiyimba, who also doubles as the Minister for Lukiiko, Cabinet, Protocol and Information, condemned the recent directive by Uganda Communications Commissions to 13 radios stations and Televisions to suspend 39 of their staff members.

The Buganda Kingdom Spokesperson, Noah Kiyimba has called upon the media to eliminate threats against journalism with professionalism and continuous career development.       

The Minister says it is clear that the barriers against modern journalism are on the increase with the emergence of new media. 
Kiyimba, who also doubles as the Minister for Lukiiko, Cabinet, Protocol and Information, condemned the recent directive by Uganda Communications Commissions to 13 radios stations and Televisions to suspend 39 of their staff members.        
He says the order by the regulator was uncalled for before engaging the institutions in a round table of dialogue.       



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Speaking at the Commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day in Kampala, the Kingdom spokesperson said continuous human resource development will eliminate many of the threats facing journalism in an era of technology development.  
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The day is celebrated under the theme "Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation". 

Kiyimba cautioned journalists against unprofessional conduct, which will escalate threats against journalism in the run up to 2021 General elections.    

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Dr. Meddie Kaggwa, the chairperson Uganda Human Rights Commission said in the enjoyment of the Freedom of the Press, journalists must exercise responsible journalism to neutralize some of the threats they face.

Abubaker Lubowa, a photojournalist with Daily Monitor said the biggest challenge to confronting threats against journalism in Uganda is disunity among practitioners.   He said it is high time editors appreciate the magnitude of the threats facing journalists in the field in order for them to stand up and get counted. 

According to Lubowa, editors and media managers tend to ignore threats against reporters despite the fact that some are life threatening.
While Facebook, Twitter and other social Media innovations have hugely impacted journalism, many media gurus view the invention and emergence of artificial intelligence as an innovation that will escalate the circulation of fake news around the globe.  


    
Robert Kotchani, the Head of UN Human Rights in Uganda, says a weak media will only serve to fail the citizens. He says government should use the occasion of World Press Freedom day to take stock of how useful the media has been in development in recent years.    



Kotchani urged government to uphold Article 29 of the 1995 constitution in which it domesticated many of the international instruments guaranteeing Freedom of the Press including the Universal declaration of Human rights, the International Covenant on Civic and People's Rights and Article Nine of the African and People's Right.    

 

Mentioned: buganda kingdom

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.