By Ronald Kabuye
Uganda Journalists Association UJA executive has urged the government to free their rights, freedom and liberty while executing their lawful duties of serving the nation with the right relevant information.
The remarks were made at the grand swearing ceremony of the new executive 2018-2020 at National through their president Hajji Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira.
“our liberty, freedom, rights have been turned into a punching bag by the state agencies and journalists have had enough of the empty promises of addressing what hurts us to the bone. This is the moment to realize our demands in the right way.
Mr government we want to be free from the beatings and arrests, Mr government do you really get sleep or take pride when you see such ruthless acts against journalists by you machineries!” said Kazibwe
In response the minister without portfolio Al-hajji Abdul Naduli said there some elements in government that intentionally do such acts to have the public hate them.
He cautioned journalists against divisionism before promising to help them acquire scholarships and funding for their SACCO.The legal advisor to UJA who also administered Oath, Luyimbazi E Nalukoola said that the new team has come at a critical time when freedom of speech and expression is under attack hence it should work hard to defend it.
He also encouraged journalists to do other side businesses along side journalism since they are not paid well.
Workers legislator Margaret Namubiru Rwabushaija urged the members to contribute towards the association even with their little pay they get since it’s the only way the association shall revive and thrive.
The former presidential contestant Lubowa Abubaker expressed dismay over the media practitioners hate for their own profession.
“Editors, media owners/ managers, reporters, presenters Why don’t we love ourselves? Where are the many cameras and live gadgets that we take to other functions.
It’s time we realize that UJA is us.” said Abubaker.
He also appealed to government to fund some projects but with no strings attached since journalists are also citizens who should share on the national cake.
The office of United Nations High commissioner on Human Rights country representative Robert Kotchani committed to continue fighting for the journalists rights.