WRITES BRIAN MUGENYI
It is a long journey; stories filled with scars, tribulations and fortunes for journalists plying their trade in the Greater Masaka Region to kiss the dice and hold the maiden bilateral convention.
Over 300 journalists under their mother Umbrella Southern Buganda Journalists Association (SOBUJA) convened for a historical convention at Hotel Tropic Inn Masaka City on September 15 to bury the hatchet and unite again for the future wellbeing of journalism in a country.
The association; SOBUJA has been in existence for the last twenty seven years and the convention is mostly convened to address issues affecting the journalism profession; journalists themselves and maintaining a good working relationship with the society and their affiliated media houses.
“It is an avenue for the new beginning, new sanity and new leadership as the fraternity; “shared Maurice Matovu; the organizing member also a media personality formerly at Radio Buddu; Centenary Fm and a journalism lecturer formerly at Datamine Technical Institute.
Since 2016; journalists have had conflicts amongst themselves including worries for delayed and little payments; publishing stories of conflict with the government and society within and outside their affiliated media houses.
“All we needed was a retreat. Teaming together as a team to reap big from the profession that sets the agenda in the community, “he said.
The convention has had tremendous support from; St Henry’s College Kitovu staff led by Br. Augustine Mugabo; Tropic Inn Hotel and Uganda police Defence Force (UPDF) mechanized brigade Kasijjagirwa led by brigadier General Deus Sande.
The chief guest of honor is the Mityana District Woman Member of Parliament Joyce Bagala also a former media practitioner at Next Media Services (NBS TV).
Before journalists have team up to maintain the association’s leadership, only to wake up with total frustrations and candidates such as; Wilson Kutamba; the communications officer Lyantonde District also affiliated to Monitor Publications Limited and Sozi Ssekimpi also a news reporter at Central Broad Casting Service (CBS FM) showed prowess in leading the presidential seat for the association.
The Association; (SOBUJA) started in 1997 led by Michael Ssali also the long time serving journalist for Nation Media Group reporting for the Agriculture beat and Herbert Lumansi of Bukedde Newspaper to unite all journalists in Greater Masaka Region.
“I have travelled from almost all countries; United States of America (USA), Italy to mention but a under journalism sponsorship. I appeal to journalists to work hard as a team and apply well researched works in their reporting as possible to overcome the irregularities in the profession of journalism,” shared Michael Ssali.
Mr Ssali has won accolades as the outstanding Agriculture writer out from journalism as Daily Monitor’s reporter and in 1998 he served as the SOBUJA president before retiring into journalism away from leadership.
“I have heard stories of old men in profession vying for leadership of the association. I recommend the young generation to take over the leadership as the profession calls for fresh ideas; new talents and well educated writers; reporters and producers,” shared Ssali.
The convention is also expected to pick a leaf from associations such as Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) led by Patrick Kanyomozi and Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) led by Mathias Rukundo affiliated to Vision Group Uganda that have succeeded since 1970 and 1963 respectively.
The writer is Brian Mugenyi