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Minister Namuganza slams journalists for shunning professionalism to get quick wealth

A section of journalists in Namutumba district pose for a photowith Minister Persis Namuganza on Saturday, May 25, 2024

Namutumba, (UG):- The Minister of State for Lands, Housing and Urban Development (Housing), Hon. Princess Persis Namuganza has advised journalists to refrain from negative energy against politicians and government especially when it is based on baseless information.

Ms Namuganza said she recently faced it rough with some journalists who openly attacked her on what she termed as baseless allegations, and she also warned them to avoid dumping their professionalism for money given to them by opportunists to fight productive leaders.

The Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Bukono Constituency was on Saturday presiding over as a chief guest for the journalists’ function at the belated World Press Freedom Day in Namutumba district.

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Citing the saga of speaker Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among and her predecessor Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga, Ms Namuganza wondered why journalists attack individuals and government without genuine reasons.

“You talked negatively about me, and I kept quiet and you have destroyed people’s names over little money given by opportunists, but you even attack a government that would have a common agenda for you,” a furious Namuganza said.

According to her, journalists should put much energy into individual developmental projects to refrain from compromising on their profession. “Brown envelopes have jeopardized the ethical principles of journalism with media practitioners getting to a level of admitting a tune of shs5000 to disseminate defamatory stories against individuals,” she said.

Namuganza also decried the reporters who praised the speaker of parliament, Rt. Hon Anita Annet Among when she attacked her predecessor, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, describing them as enemies of the eastern Busoga sub-region.

“They are praising Anita Among who abused Kadaga just for money. Who will bury you? Will people come from Bukedea and bury you? Why attack your fellow residents who will be the first respondents when you die?” she questioned, clarifying that she was straight on her issues, but people termed it fighting Kadaga.

She tasked the media fraternity in Namutumba district to embrace income-generating activities to avoid involving in abusing people for just mere internet data, citing that someone with a specific source of income cannot be lured into behaviors of attacking authorities for money.

Minister Namuganza speaking to journalists who gathered for belated World Press Freedom Day for Namutumba district

The chairperson Namutumba Journalists Association (NAJA) Mr. Joseph Sooka commended journalists for persevering even in hard times.

“Although Namutumba has never registered cases of injuries, our colleagues from different areas like Jinja, Kampala, Masaka, and other areas have been injured with others losing lives in their line of duty. We commend the police in Namutumba for observing our rights as reporters,” Mr Sooka said.

The journalists sympathized with colleagues who have since been affected by police irritating acts of firing teargas and detaining some reporters who would merely be practising their professional duties, pointing out Ms. Racheal Wambuzi, a Jinja-based reporter attached to Uganda Radio Network who was hurt by a teargas canister as police dispersed Bobi Wine’s processions to Kamuli.

Mr Sooka stated that Namutumba-based reporters have embarked on the journey of a sustainable environment following this year’s theme that emphasizes the fight for the environmental crisis.

“We have today planted 50 trees in this town. We believe that it will not only combat the environmental issues but also provide food to our people since only fruit trees have been planted. In addition to planting trees, we have cleaned the streets of Namutumba Town to ensure good sanitation,” he said. 

As an association, the reporters called for support from Minister Namuganza and government to their initiatives and projects that can pull them out of poverty adding that they need to advocate for themselves after advocating for the public given their low incomes from the profession.

However, Minister Namuganza questioned the whereabouts of the Emyooga funds for journalists in Namutumba and directed police to probe the matter, before supporting the Association with shs1m. She pledged to support them in development projects and also lobby for them from the central government.

Ms. Jane Namukuve, the district community liaison officer (CLO) for Namutumba district, who represented the District Police Commander (DPC) praised journalists for mobilizing the community members for government programs, citing the recent police recruitment where reporters attracted many youths.

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