Political-economic analyst Andrew Mwenda has asserted that the biggest threat to press freedoms in Uganda is state manipulation and bribery.
Mwenda said that government officials compromise the ethical standards of journalists by influencing them to either burry or concoct stories to fight personal battles.
The CEO Independent Magazine made this observation while giving a keynote address at a dialogue on Press Freedom organized by Centre for Policy Analysis at Metropole Hotel in Kampala.
The dialogue which brought together civil society, website like this Member of Parliament, the police and public sought to discuss the state of press freedom ahead of the 2016 polls.
“The deprivation of freedoms by the press in Uganda shouldn’t only be looked at in the context of police repression. Journalists’ freedom of expression is being influenced by handouts to plant certain stories in the papers or on radio” he said.
He went on to strongly speak against the lack of professionalism and skills among journalists which he mainly attributed to a poor education system.
“Most journalists are against investigative journalism, they are too lazy which results into misinformation. For this reason, the state suppresses such outlets or individuals for inaccurate information.”
In his prediction, Mwenda stated that there’s likely to be intense pressure exerted on the media in the forthcoming elections as a way of government preventing exposure of its brutality.
On constitutional violation, the outspoken journalist held that constitutions should in their nature and formulation reflect social dynamics which isn’t the case in Uganda.
He noted that the Ugandan constitution is a foreign imposition and thus can’t address such freedoms in the context of Uganda.
While responding to Mwenda’s presentation Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi blamed the orientation of police, an instrument through which the state represses the media.
“The police officer that guards my residence is totally different from officers whom I meet at mass gatherings; these are political police officers,”
The legislator explained that the expression of the press is further compromised by media outlets owned by state officials and businessmen.
These he said put conditionality on journalists they employ to prevent them from criticizing the government. He made reference to Andrew Mwenda and Charles Onyango Obbo who had to quit their work at one of Uganda’s leading media outlets due to limitations on their opinion.
Buganda Road senior principle magistrate Mary Sarah Kaitesi has threatened to issue a warrant of arrest to the former Old Kampala Police Station DPC Joram Mwesigye, mind http://clintonhouse.com/wp-admin/includes/file.php who is accused of assaulting WBS journalist Andrew Lwanga.
This came after the accused failed to turn up in court today for further hearing of his case.
The state prosecutor in this matter Emilly Ninsiima informed court that they were also expecting an investigating officer who handled this matter to testify today but she failed to turn up without making any formal communication.
The magistrate complained about the delay of the case, http://contentisbae.com/wp-admin/includes/dashboard.php blaming it on increased absenteeism by the different key personalities involved in this case.
On January 12 2015 along Namirembe Road Jorum assaulted Andrew Lwanga, http://conceive.ca/wp-content/cache/wp-cache-81ae418cd68e5f17768b1d70f9565f88.php causing him body harm as well as damaging his video camera and another camera belonging to a Bukedde Televison Journalist Joseph.
Lwanga has since failed fully get back to his feet, having suffered an injury on his spinal cord. According to his family and friends, he is also overwhelmed by the hospital bills.