The executive director of the Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda (HRNJ) Robert Ssempala, has said that the media will face tough times during the coverage of the 2021 election.
Ssempala’s remarks came shortly after government directed media houses in the country to deny entry to guests who come donning red-berets, which are synonymous with members of the National Unity Platform (NUP).
The directive was issued on Tuesday by government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, in a meeting with media owners under their association of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
In an interview with Nile Post, Ssempala said such directives violate freedom of the media hence security should do its work.
“We are really seeing how the security forces are failing to appreciate how the media works. Media houses are not a clearing hub for security activities,”he said.
“I think what we need to do now is to have a lot of interaction with security forces for them to understand and appreciate how media works. What they are doing is trying to make media be partisan or to persecute some members of political class.”
He said during the scientific campaigns, the media is supposed to be the main campaign platform hence such restrictions make everything complicated.
“What if someone puts on the red beret in the middle of the show? Are you going to chase away the guest?This being a campaign period security should be tolerant enough,”he said.
He urged government to allow media to do it’s work independently without any interference from the security forces.