District police commanders have been directed by the joint security Task Force to strictly start denying all Journalists covering of campaigns without licenses by the Media Council of Uganda after seven days ultimatum for registration.
All practicing journalists have been given seven until 21 December 2020 to get registered under the Media Council of Uganda to or risk being denied accreditation to cover the 2021 elections and other public functions.
Paulo Ekochu, the Chairperson of the Media Council of Uganda raised the stakes with a chilling threat: they will open criminal charges against all media houses both local and international including freelance journalists who fail to register.
He also recalled all the accreditation cards issued to journalists this year, saying they will be replaced with new cards with security features to avoid forgery
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga has therefore announced that starting 21 December 2020, only journalists that have been accredited by the Uganda Media Council will be allowed to cover political campaigns and all election-related news.
Enanga noted that as police they have welcomed the directive by the media council because the process will differ the genuine from disingenuous journalists who have been writing and disseminating biased and hatred information that would incite violence.
However, on Sunday, media activists and practitioners led by Uganda Journalists Union-UJU and the African Centre for Media Excellence-ACME among others issued a statement condemning the directives saying it is aimed at curtailing access to information, stifling and suppressing freedom of expression.