By Kikamah Ram and Kikusa Godfrey
Journalists in Kasese under their organization –Umbrella for Journalist in Kasese (UJK) on 03 May 2019 joined the rest of the world to celebrate the world press freedom day.
During the celebrations at Virina Garden, the Kasese deputy Resident District Commission (RDC) Joshua Masereka asked Journalists to observe the professional ethics and code of conduct to ensure quality work as they execute their journalism career.
“The moment a journalist is pocketed definitely you will not produce an independent story. Produce quality work that is independent and see whether someone will talk about you. I know there are people who say they are naturally clever but that knowledge needs polishing Go to school and study” Joushua divulged.
Kasese Journalists under their organization- umbrella for Journalists in Kasese (UJK) also asked government to respect their right to gathering Information as mandated.
The world press freedom day celebrations according to the president UJK Musenene Ukasha Swaibu come at the time when the contribution of the pluralistic, independent and safe Journalism is under unprecedented stress.
His comments come barely a forty knight after the Uganda communication commission (UCC) Executive Director Eng Godfrey Mutabazi ordered a clamp down on mainstream independent media which among them include; NBS TV, Salt Media, Simba radio, Pearl FM and Capital fm.
Florence Kabugho a Kasese based journalist asked government to ensure media freedom as they work tirelessly to inform, educate and entertain the public.
As journalists Kabugho said they are wondering how some media people and institutions are being treated by blocking them from covering some occasions. She also asked politicians in the Rwenzori region to respect journalists for their tremendous media work.
“Journalists are not Public relations officers of the government but they are here to tell the world what is happening when you say they should be sacked because of covering an opposition political leader you are not fair” Florence said.
Subsequently, the coordinator UJK Bikeke Saimon, questioned to why government use police to inhumanly handle their opponents even when the constitution of the republic of Uganda under chapter four empowers everyone to enjoy their rights.
“The promise of government is that it will work for all people—that government will reflect the will of the people, serve and be accountable to people, and secure basic rights, freedoms, protections, and opportunities for all people. But to my shock, this is not really happening” Bikeke stressed.
The Manager UBC Ngeya FM – James Thembo who doubles as an expert in journalism asked journalists across the region to go for further education to have more knowledge in the journalism career.
Thembo also urged media practitioners to be united and stop enmity, grudges and to respect their superiors at their places of employment.
At the function was the NRM flag bearer Ferigo Kambale who also urged the media practitioners to always follow the journalistic ethics to avoid disseminating biased information.
He stressed that media people should be in position to quote the constitutional laws on media.
“In any profession take it from me, the back of the legal framework is very important, you guy I wouldn’t do this because our professional ethics requires this and quote that constitutional law. Adding that journalists should have journalistic laws at their fingertips” Ferigo stressed
In Kampala a group of journalists, civil society and activists participated in a walk in the city to raise awareness on the need safeguard press freedom.