Ochola, early this year told a joint security press briefing that the police would continue beating journalists for their own safety. At the time, several journalists had sustained injuries from the campaign trail where they were hit with batons, rubber bullets and teargas canisters, in what appeared to be a direct attack against media practitioners.
The Executive Director of Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), Robert Sempala said that Ochola’s statement led to an increase in cases against journalists. Sempala told Members of Parliament on the Human Rights Committee that they registered 174 cases of human rights violations against journalists during the electoral process.
Ronald Bwire of Mayende and Associated Advocates and Henry Byansi have today filed a suit before the High Court Civil division seeking court to quash UCC directive to media houses to suspend some of its staff.
Elly Rwakoma, a photo Journalist during the President Idi Amin Dadas regime in the 1970s says it is so appalling that journalists do not go to the ground to get information, but most from their desks with limited verification.
Dr George Lugalambi, a media Expert and former Mass communications lecturer at Makerere University says press freedom is not getting any better. He says the motivation for people in Government towards gagging the media have not changed over time.
A row has emerged between Parliament and journalists accredited to cover the House over convening press conferences for Members of Parliament. Parliaments Department of Communications and Public Affairs CPA issued a warning today against journalists convening press conferences for Members of Parliament, saying they are overstepping their boundaries.
United States Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac said she admires the bravery of Ugandan journalists who continue to work under deteriorating environment adding that the US government will continue to advocate for a free media as a cornerstone for strong democratic governance.
Ambassador Malac observes that while critical reporting may be irritating, it does not justify physical attacks, threats or harassment against journalists. This was in her statement delivered at the closure of a National Conference on the World Press Freedom Day in Kampala, Wednesday.
Asaph Bindire was picked up on Wednesday evening at Nyakihanga in Itojo Sub County along the Ntungamo-Mbarara road moments after he reportedly photographed a traffic police officer receiving a bribe from a taxi driver.
Robert Ssempala, the National Coordinator of Human Rights Network for Journalist, says although the affected journalists filed complaints against their attackers, nothing has been done to bring the suspects to book.
Through its lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde, UPPA argues that the decision by Chris Obore, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Parliament to withdraw office space from journalists could result into unnecessary and avoidable conflict.
The withdrawal was announced in a letter from Chris Obore, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs to the Sergeant-at-Arms Ahmed Kagoye. The letter dated January 18th, 2016, directs the Sergeant-at-Arms to close the offices of the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association UPPA with immediate effect.
High Court Registrar Her Worship Atingu Beatrice Stella issued an interim order restraining the implementation of the Clerk to Parliament letter dated 11th January 2016 fixing job specifications for journalists posted to cover parliament.