The Government of Uganda has promised to improve its working relationship with the media, especially during this period when several of its Security agencies and organs have been listed among the leading violators of press freedom
Hon Godfrey Kabyanga Baluku , the state Minister for National Guidance while speaking at the celebrations to mark World Press Freedom Day in Kampala, noted that continuous attacks on the media creates a negative image to the Government.
“As Government, we are ready to advocate for your rights by providing a safer working environment for the press. When the Global ranking of Uganda in observation of Human Rights fell from 117 to 125, it’s not only media practitioners that are affected but it’s all of us because we (Government) want to have a positive image Globally.”
For proper coordination, the minister urged stakeholders in the media industry to form a recognized umbrella body which can link them to their mother ministry (ICT and National Guidance)
“All journalists are employees of the Ministry of ICT wherever they are; it’s like advocates of court who are also referred to as employees of court. The problem is the lack of a united body of journalists. Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) which used to bring journalists has issues which originated from a court decision. Currently the journalists’ voices are now scattered.”
Lady Justice Mariam Wangadya, the Chairperson of Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) promised to work hand in hand with stake holders in ensuring that media rights are guarded jealously and that all perpetrators face the law.
” UHRC is ready to take journalists all the recommendations on how to improve on protection of press freedom as well as access to information a tool which empowers citizens to participate in decision making.” Wangadya stated
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