Minister Nsambu's Radio Reporters Banned from DP Rallies

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Minister Alintuma Nsambu's rival has banned his radio reporters from covering her rallies, sparking off protests from media activists.

Florence Namayanja, the Democratic Party candidate for Bukoto East has banned all reporters from Tropix FM radio based in Masaka from covering her campaign rallies. She says she does not need Tropix radio reporters because they are biased in their reporting.

Tropix FM Radio broadcasting on 100.7 FM is owned by ICT State Minister John Alintuma Nsambu.

Florence Namayanja, says they have agreed to ban Tropix Radio reporters from attending and covering her campaign rallies, because they have defied media ethics. Namayanja claims that Minister Nsambu, her rival, is misusing his journalists to meddle in the Bukoto East campaigns.

Namayanja claims that a team of Tropix FM reporters led by Kalanzi Edward and Venna Nagadya, together with Minister Nsambu's supporters, stormed her rally at Bulayi village in Mukungwe Sub County and stirred violence.

Namayanja also alleges that Tropix reporters stole her Nokia mobile phone and handed it over to their boss Minister Nsambu.

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But Nsambu has not commented.

Tropix Radio reporters however say they will not respect the ban, because it is illegal.

Erias Haruna, Venna Nagadya and Dickson Wamala say Namayanja has no authority to stop them from covering her rallies.

Venna Nagadya, who is blacklisted among Tropix reporters who stormed Namayanja's rally and later stole her phone, has denied the allegations. She explains that on that fateful day she arrived at Namayanja's rally, but was shocked when Namayanja's supporters pounced on her and beat her up because she worked for Tropix radio.

Nagadya, who presents a morning show, alleges that she suffered internal bleeding as a result of the beating and has since been undergoing treatment at Dr. Kalevu Medical clinic.

Erias Haruna, another reporter says he will continue covering Namayanja's rally because there is no written instruction from the police and the Uganda Broadcasting council, stopping them from covering any rally.

Haruna instead says Namayanja has cases to answer at Masaka central police, because her supporters beat them up and stole Tropix Radio gadgets which include a voice recorder, camera and an exciter receiver used in outside broadcasting.

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Wokulira Ssebagala, the coordinator Uganda Human Rights Network for Journalists, says Namayanja has no right to ban any journalist or media house from covering her rallies.

Wokulira told URN that what Namayanja has done is in total defiance of the the press and journalist act. He argues that Namayanja is denying listeners and voters from listening to all sides to make an informed decision on the political issues.

He has advised Namayanja to raise her concerns with the Media council, broadcasting council, and the Independent media council of Uganda, which have the mandate to investigate her grievances.