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Kampala
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Stanbic Bank

Security personnel need to respect media practitioners

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Just yesterday, a security officer deployed to guard the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi beat up  photojournalist, Stephen Wandera of Daily Monitor reaching the extent of tearing his shirt. The issue of harassment against media practitioners will always find its position on our editorial pages, courtesy of wayward security personnel who seem not to understand or fail to appreciate how the media works.

The incident of yesterday comes barely two months when another photojournalist, Abubaker Lubowa of same media house was as well assaulted by same guards in Bulange in full view of the audience that had come to witness one of Kababa’s activities where the Kabaka was present.

Sometime this year, police officers led the District Police Commander of Old Kampala Police Station, Joram Mwesigye beat up two journalists, who ended up in hospital with serious injuries. Now, a DPC is a senior police officer, who is supposed to act with restraint even in the most difficult of circumstances, because the ordinary mwanainchi believe the officer has been sufficiently trained to carry out the noble duty of maintaining law and order. He/she is also supposed to offer guidance to the rank and file under him/her.

Basically, a journalist is a person trained in the art of gathering and analyzing news for dissemination to the many who may not have access to any such information.

So, both the media practitioners and the security personnel have a duty to help society become better, something that must be guarded jealously.

Unfortunately, on some occasions this has not happened, something that calls for increased supervision of those who have the means of coercion.

So, if security personnel mistreat the journalists, there is likelihood that some of them will altogether abandon their beats.

This then means that in fact in a way the security personnel will have blocked the free flow of information, a necessary tool for informed decision-making by the citizenry of any country.

This is counterproductive!

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