The National Unity Platform’s Secretary General, David Lewis Rubongoya, has said that the media in Uganda has to decide to whether to remain quiet or take a firm stand against the continuing violation of their rights by those who wield guns.
He made the remarks shortly after the battering of a pregnant journalist alongside another reporter by members of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF)
The beaten journalists include; Teddy Nakaliga, a reporter with NTV and Spark TV, and Amon Kayanja of Salt TV.
The two were assaulted by military police personnel while covering a demonstration by residents protesting a two-week power blackout in Kayunga village in Wakiso district.
The soldiers also destroyed the reporters’ equipment, including mobile phones and cameras, according to one of the victim who talked to The Nile Post.
The relationship between the security agencies and journalists has not been the best in the past one year.
Security personnel have on several occasions beaten up and injured a number of journalists.
Rubongoya said that the publicity stunts and well written statements by the security cannot hold any longer.
“Today owners of media houses are playing football with the military and tomorrow these journalists are turned into balls and kicked without remorse,”he stated.
Rubongoya explained that the trouble is that often times, some people look at this as an NUP struggle which is not the case but the struggle is for all the people of Uganda.
” This is a struggle for all oppressed people and I hope the journalists will find their place in the cause to change our country for the better,”he noted.
Uganda ranked 125th globally in terms of press freedom.
In the East African region, Kenya (102nd) and Tanzania (124th) rank better than Uganda. However, South Sudan (139th), Burundi (147th) and Rwanda (156th) have the worst record in the region.
In 2020, Uganda scored 40.95% in abuses against press freedom, compared to 39.42% in 2019.
According to the recent report released by Reporters Without Borders, acts of intimidation and violence against journalists are an almost daily occurrence in Uganda.