Journalists in Uganda Announce Black out on Police over Brutality in Makerere University

The Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) has announced a media blackout for Uganda Police as part of the protest against continuous brutalizing of journalists.

Addressing a press conference in Kampala on Thursday, October 31, 2019, UJA President Bashir Kazibwe said journalists intend to engage in a peaceful demonstration on Monday that will see them hand in a petition to the Inspector General of Police after which they will proceed to Parliament where they will discuss their dissatisfaction with the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga.

Indeed the journalists lived up to their word when they boycotted a press conference organised by police and Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) ahead of PLE, which starts tomorrow with briefing.

Deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye, who was at the UNEB conference, was stunned after the journalists refused to cover his speech. Only two journalists from New Vision and a UNEB photographer covered her speech.

On Wednesday, two journalists of Nation Media Group – Uganda were hospitalized after they were injured as security agencies quelled a protest at Makerere University on Wednesday, October 30, 2019.

NTV Uganda photo journalist Geoffrey Twesigye and Daily Monitor’s Alex Esagala were admitted to International Hospital Kampala after a teargas canister thrown by police exploded before them. The journalists were also beaten up by security agencies.

KFM’s Stephen Mbidde and others of NBS TV was also beaten in the protest. In a statement, NBS TV condemned the assault of their journalists.

“We express concern, and condemn, the brutal assault of our Journalists by a section of the security on duty on the Makerere University premises, on the 29th of October, 2019.  Our journalists, who were out to perform their core mandate of telling an objective story, guided by their primary ethics, among which are fairness and impartiality, independence and accountability to our viewers, were openly attacked,” the statement reads in part.

“As Next Media Services, we commit to remaining steadfast in our cause, and request that the Uganda Police Force and her sister agencies maintain a standard of respect towards the duty we ought to play to Ugandans,” it adds.

However, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said the assault of journalists was not intentional.