Media Fraternity: We Shall Not Be Silenced

Activists protesting the closure of the media houses last week

Media practitioners are seeking for amicable ways to co-exist with the government, in view of the on-going attack on the media and say they will not be cowed to silence.

Cops storm Red Pepper Offices.
Cops storm Red Pepper Offices.

During a media dialogue called by the Uganda Media Women Association (UMWA) Thursday, journalists, civil society organizations, and a few media owners reached at a communiqué that forges a way to address the current attack on the media.

In their communiqué as summarized by UMWA chairperson Patricia Litho, the practitioners stressed the need to organize and dialogue with the government.

They maintained that they are equal players in public affairs and matters pertaining to the media and should not merely be placed at a receiving end.

Margaret Sentamu, the Executive Director Maama FM, says the communiqué among other things aims at generating discussions with parties involved in the siege, even if it meant taking a pro-active approach.

The practitioners were firm that they will not be succumb to intimidation and attempts to gag the press.

Eunice Musiime in charge of policy at the National NGO Forum warned that, the current attack on the media was an indication of deteriorating democracy in Uganda, thus the need to condemn any attempts to silence dissenting voices.

Minister for Information and National Guidance Mary Karoro Okurut left the fraternity at a loss when she failed to give any tangible suggestions of how to end the standoff.

Okurut said that she had no powers to stop security authorities from their investigations, since the matter was a security issue. However she was quick to urge security authorities to speed up investigations, to enable the media houses to re-open.

The dialogue comes after a closure of four media houses in Kampala including the Daily Monitor and its subsidiary FM stations, KFM, and Dembe FM, and the Red Pepper in connection to publication of a letter authored by General David Sejusa.

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