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Ofwono Opondo Launches Charm Offensive on Journalists

OO said following the confrontations between the media and the security agencies in the previous two years especially the election year, there was need to start a discussion on how to mend the relationship adding that government regrets the incidents where journalists have been brutalized which is why they have started reaching out to the media to rebuild the relationship with the media and media personalities.
Opondo speaking to journalists on Wednesday at Elgon Palace Hotel

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The government has launched a charm offensive to repair its deteriorating relationship with journalists across the country. 

   

Ofwono Opndo, the government Spokesperson and Executive Director of the Uganda Media Center is currently on a country wide drive meeting journalists and other media personalities discussing measures on how their relation can be mended. 

   

The relationship between the government agencies especially security bodies and journalists has not been the best in the past years, the most recent squabble arising from the February incident when beat up and injured a number of journalists who had gone to cover a petition by National Unity Platform leader Robert Kyagulanyi to the UNHRC in what the victims described as a targeted and unprovoked broad-day attack on the media.

         

Opondo who was in Mbale City on Wednesday and met journalists at Elgon Palace Hotel said that he is currently moving across the country to forge a way of working with journalists since they all serve the same purpose of reaching the people. 

 

He said following the confrontations between the media and the security agencies in the previous two years especially the election year, there was need to start a discussion on how to mend the relationship adding that government regrets the incidents where journalists have been brutalized which is why they have started reaching out to the media to rebuild the relationship with the media and media personalities. 

   

He said the engagement between the government and the media will help to build convergence but also help government to reflect on its work with the media.

  

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Moses Musila, the President of the Mount Elgon-Bukedi Media Organisation, an Umbrella that binds journalists in Elgon and Bukedi sub regions said that government has deliberately put up with a hostile environment to curtail journalists from performing their duties. 

 

Musila wondered why the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola would come out with a statement that the Police will continue beating up journalists for their safety. 

 

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Pamela Watuwa, the Resident City Commissioner of Mbale City said that the media desires to have someone who cordially works with them and that being stakeholders, government thrives on the media to relay information.

   

She said that the relationship between the government and media should never be coercive or forced but rather be cultivated adding that the media being a watch dog helps the government to perform.

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Watuwa however urged the media personalities to grow and improve themselves professionally.

Recently, the Uganda People's Defense Forces played a football match with the media fraternity as a measure to renew the working relation between the force and the media fraternity. However, a few days later, journalists in Wakiso and Mityana districts were reported to have been brutalized by the same force.

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