”The PEN is Mightier than the GUN”- Journalists reply Mutabazi

Telecommunications regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) yesterday ordered for the immediate suspension of 39 producers, heads of programming and heads of news.

Although UCC has not specifically mentioned the particular programs that ‘fell short of the broadcasting standards’, sources at NBS TV, BBS TV and Salt TV have told The Observer that UCC’s anger arose out of the broadcasts about arrest and detention and the subsequent protests on Monday this week

However the Uganda journalist association has replied Mutabazi in the letter below ;

I take this opportunity to thank UJA president Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira for this massage. On top gvnt should respect the Fourth estate. Fellow ugandans it’s not for journalists alone we should join this battle.

As Uganda gets ready to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day, it’s saddening to learn of the continued infringement on to the Media Rights by several government agencies.

Fresh in our midst is the order issued by the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) to NBS Television to the effect that management suspends three of it’s employees over what the Commission regards as misleading information aired on 29th April 2019

This is another step in the wrong direction by the “regulators” as we seek to build and have a freely conducive and productively progressive media landscape in Uganda.

The individuals whose jobs hang in balance following this unwarranted directive by the UCC Executive Director Mr.Mutabaazi Geofrey are: The NBS Program Manager; Chris Wano bere,The Program Producer Mr
Mugume Canary and the Head of News Ms. Joyce Bagaala

We are aware of more Journalists and media houses whose names and brands have been marked in RED by the commission over doing their job in a way that is deemed “un-fit”.These execess by the authorities can’t go unchallenged

In light of these Developments, the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) wishes to highlight the following:
1-Government through her several agencies should RESPECT the rights of the Journalists and desist from the continued harrasment of media players
2-UCC withdraws the suspension orders issued to NBS against her staff
3- We call for future ENGAGEMENTS between the ” Regulators” and operators in areas of operation they deem “unprofessional”

To the Media fraternity, it’s at this time that we ought to SPEAK out further and LOUDER in UNITY as a body, otherwise OUR future stands ripe to be eaten in PIECES.

These disturbing events only serve to remind us that: The PEN is Mightier than the GUN.

Hajj Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira
Uganda Journalists Association