City authority official throws out journalist from meeting
A Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) official, on September 20, 2013 threw a Radio Simba journalist, Aisha Nakawooya, out of a public meeting claiming that she was not welcome since her media house had not been invited to cover the function at which commercial motor cyclists’ leaders were meeting with the City’s Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi.
She told HRNJ-Uganda that Robert Kalumba, the KCCA Deputy Spokesperson ordered her out of the meeting upon learning that she was from Radio Simba. “I went through the security check, but no sooner had I entered the meeting and started recording, than Kalumba asked me which media house I was coming from, when I mentioned Radio Simba, he ordered me out claiming that we had not been invited. Other two journalists at the entrance were allowed in by him. I moved out and waited but he declined to have me back to cover the story along with other journalists. I felt very embarrassed and humiliated.” Nakawooya narrated.
Earlier this year, the City’s Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago threw out of a press conference four journalists from the government owned Vision Group accusing them of biased reporting. He claimed that they had not been invited. HRNJ-Uganda condemned the act of blocking certain journalists from covering public events.
When contacted, Kalumba denied throwing out the journalist, “We had invited specific journalists, and Radio Simba was not one of them. We have issues of professional conduct that that they must first sort out. I didn’t throw her out like they claim, I just asked her to go out. But they are always free to come and cover.” He told HRNJ-Uganda.
A journalist who preferred anonymity told HRNJ-Uganda that the City Authority leaders in the office of the Executive Director were stopping Radio Simba journalists from covering at the City Hall due to their critical reporting.
HRNJ-Uganda condemns the discrimination by the City Authority leaders of journalists who cover public events at the City Hall. This is blatant abuse of office and violation of media rights and freedoms to free access to information. The journalists must stand united against such acts by public officials who misuse their powers.
For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
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