The Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has called for defending of journalists from all sorts of attacks and insults. Lukwago said during the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day held under the theme; “Information as a public good”.
Currently, there is a souring relationship between the various security agencies and journalists with many being clobbered in line with the execution of their duties. In the last 12 months over 15 journalists from Daily Monitor, New Vision, NBS TV, NTV were roughed up by various security agencies of Police and the army as they covered the for presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine and Patrick Oboi Amuriat.
Last week, a Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) Journalist and former President Uganda Journalist Association (UJA) was shot dead by Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel who were deployed at brother’s home after he noticed that a group of people were trailing him.
The Lord Mayor said; “this day should help us reflect more about ‘Fake News’ by honoring the various ratifications especially the 1991 UNESCO Windhoek Declaration to promote an independent and pluralistic African Press.”
“We are currently contending with a dire situation. After the shooting of Journalist Robert Kagolo recently, we can’t predict the flashes and impulses of the future! We are scared stiff, innocent Ugandans are being incarcerated in ungazetted detention centres, safe houses and various military installations. Uganda security agencies continue to clobber journalists in broad daylight but also, severely beat them in the pretext of enforcing the Covid-19 regulations.” he said
Lukwago said this is a day to hail the fourth pillar of democracy by awarding them their constitutional degree of freedom but also; defending them from all sorts of attacks and insults in line of duty.