Media associations in different parts of the country have
celebrated the World Press Freedom Day with a call to the government to respect
Uganda, the Northern Media Club-NUMEC said that this year`s World Press Freedom
Day is being celebrated against the backdrop of increased threats to free
speech in Uganda.
Moses Odokonyero the NUMEC administrator noted with concern about
UCC`s move to gag the media as perpetrated by the switching off of radio stations
hosting opposition leaders.
‘’As Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC), we are concerned that the
questionable directive by UCC is likely to be interpreted by overzealous state
actors to find ground that in reality doesn`t legally exist in law to gag the
media.’’ The release read in part.
NUMEC urged UCC to immediately rescind a directive ordering a section
of radio and Television stations to suspend staff for allegedly breaching the Minimum
‘’The directives if unchallenged, poses serious dangers to media
freedoms, particularly for journalists and media organizations outside of
Kampala who remain vulnerable to ill-informed and arbitrary directives from
state actors.’’ The statement adds.
In Arua, the West Nile Press Association-WENPA celebrated the day
under the theme “Protect your environment”.
According to Clement Aluma, the Chairperson WENPA, they decided to
dedicate the day to tree planting due to the adverse effects of climate change in
“The association encourages each of its members to at least plant
five trees at home to mitigate the effects of climate change as an example to
those they preach to,” Aluma said.
In the Tooro region, the Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese, Reuben
Kisembo Amooti, and the Bishop of Fort Portal Catholic Diocese, Robert Muhiirwa
Akiiki, condemned the media gag by UCC.
Bishop Kisembo, who was the Chief Guest at the celebrations, noted
that every time journalists are threatened and their rights violated, it is the
society that suffers because they are denied information.
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Bishop Muhirwa noted that freedom of speech and expression are
fundamental rights that everyone, including journalists, should be allowed to
enjoy without any threats or interference.
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The Fort Portal Municipality Mayor, Rev Will Kintu Muhanga, wondered why the
government is now suffocating the media who are partners in bringing about the
much-needed prosperity in the country.
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Luweero region journalists under their umbrella body Greater Luweero
Journalists’ Association [GLJA] which covers Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola
districts commemorated the World Press Freedom Day by donating medical supplies
to expectant mothers at Biddabugya Health Centre III in Nakaseke.
journalists from different media organizations mobilized resources in
conjunction with Rose Namayanja foundation and Save for Health Uganda and
purchased the medical supplies.
supplies donated include; 64 Mama Kits, 120 Mosquito Nets, Blankets, Buckets,
Soap, Bed sheets among others.
Luwaga, the Chairperson of Greater Luweero Journalists’ Association [GLJA] asked
the government to free the media saying that it will help them rally
stakeholders to boost health services;
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district chairman Ignatius Koomu asked journalists to continue exposing the
wrongs committed by public officials.
to Koomu, the current attack on the Media in Uganda should not discourage
members of the Fourth Estate from performing their watchdog role over the three
other organs of government because action can only be taken to improve
livelihoods after the media has exposed any rot.