As Ugandans observe the 21-days lockdown, the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) is working to ensure that all journalists affected by this extension are catered for, the UJA president Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira said.
Mbaziira revealed that a number of journalists have been greatly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic despite working relentlessly to serve the nation.
“As UJA, we don’t want this tireless effort to be compromised due to lack of essentials to serve your families and dependents,”he said.
He said the association has mobilised food relief that will be extended to members that have been most affected by this extended lockdown.
Although media was listed among the essential service providers, Mbaziira expressed his dismay towards the media managers who sent their journalists on forced leave while others were laid off completely due to the current situation.
“Journalists, especially those who are paid per story, who continued with work still lack private means to source stories due to a ban on public transport,”he said.
He added that due to the available circumstances, the leadership of UJA has reached out to various institutions, both private and government, to support its members.
“We have managed to buy food items including sugar, rice, maize flour, and beans. In our first phase, UJA targets to extend these items to 100 journalists that are in dire need,”he said.
He said the food items for each journalist will be packed and delivered to their respective media houses as registered for pick up.
“For those who cannot move to their work stations, security guidance will be sought on how to deliver packages. We encourage more people, private and government institutions to stand with journalists in this critical time to enable us reach out to more scribes in the next phase,”he said.
Kazibwe also applauded the government, the ministry of Health and all the front line health workers for the selfless effort exhibited so far in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in Uganda.