KAMPALA – The Acting Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission Dr Katebalirwe Amooti Wa Irumba has on Sunday, May 3 commended media practitioners for the great work as the country strives to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the media has served the public’s right to know by providing accurate and relevant information on the disease as well as the measures for prevention Katebalirwa said.
“The media in Uganda have also ensured that all presidential addresses (12 as of today) and information from the ministry of health and all other ministries, departments, and agencies is shared with the public in the languages that are best understood by the general public,” he said in a statement.
Katebalirwa noted that even during the pandemic, the commission notes that journalists have faced challenges while performing their duties.
“Some of them have allegedly been arrested, assaulted and their equipment confiscated and/or destroyed by some security operatives during the process of enforcing the COVID-19 government directives,” reads an excerpt.
He further condemned journalists who perform their duties without taking necessary precautions for their safety
“In some cases the news reports that are filed and the news that is released to the public are politically biased in favour of certain political groups or parties,” said Katebalirwa.
He added that “Such unprofessional and irresponsible methods of work unfortunately jeopardize the struggle for media freedom in this country.”
Katebalirwa urged the executive and parliament to resolve the outstanding issue of minimum wage for the entire workforce in the country.
“This would address the current plight of poor remuneration of media practitioners,” he said.
He also advised journalists and media practitioners to invest more resources to ensure acquisition of improved professional skills, “In order to improve performance and broaden employment opportunities both within the media industry and outside,” Katebalirwa added.