All the invited security heads who include among others the Resident District Commissioner, the Regional and District Police Commanders did not attend the celebrations and none of them sent a representative.
Security heads in Masaka District on Monday boycotted
the World Press Freedom Day celebrations despite being invited.
Journalists operating from the greater Masaka sub-region under
their umbrella body of South Buganda Journalists Association-SOBUJA converged
in Masaka town to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day, on which
they invited among other people security personnel in the area.
The celebrations were also intended to remember journalists who
have died and sustained injuries in the line of duty.
However, all the invited security heads who include among others
the Resident District Commissioner, the Regional and District Police Commanders
did not attend the celebrations and none of them sent a representative.
The mass was delayed for almost an hour in anticipation that the
invited security officers would show up but in vain.
Edward Tomusange, one of the event organizers was disappointed after
the officers declined the honour the invitations extended to them.
//Cue in: (Luganda) “naye nafuye….
Cue out: …..ekye missa.”//
However, one of the invited security officers who preferred anonymity
says that they were uncomfortable to attend a mass celebrated by Reverend
Father Richard Mugisha, whom he claims is critical of the government.
According to the officer, they advised the event organizers
against the choice of Mugisha as the main celebrant preferring one who would
give all participants peace.
During the mass, Mugisha, a priest attached to Bisanje Parish in
Masaka City, did not have any kind words for violators of journalists; specifically
hitting out individuals within the security forces who oppress media
practitioners. He cited the most recent incidents in which security battered
journalists who were covering a demonstration in Mityana district and the death
of Robert Kagolo, the former Uganda Journalists Association- UJA President who
was shot dead last week.
//Cue in: “tukungaanye wano….
Cue out: …..ensi emusiime.”//
He on the other hand took time off to challenge journalists to assess
their ethical conduct while doing the profession, arguing in some cases media
practitioners have fallen short of their expectations.
//Cue in: “nga tumaze okutegeera….
Cue out: “…me mbeera
Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, the Member of Parliament for Masaka
Municipality tasked media practitioner to always stick to being truthful and
strive for justice despite the challenges associated with their work.
Mpuuga likened the journalism profession to an image of a
double-edged sword made out of glass which reflects in all directions, without
omitting the image of the person holding the sword.