The Uganda Argus, the first newspaper in Uganda, was founded in 1955 as a British colonial government publication. The 1962 Dr. Milton Obote kept the name until 1971 when Idi Amin Dada assumed power through a coup d'état and renamed it Voice of Uganda.
The 1979 Milton Obote II government renamed it Uganda Times. 1986 the National Resistance Movement (NRM) of Yoweri Museveni changed it to The New Vision which has been published since then. The Daily Monitor, The Red Pepper, The Observer, The Sunrise, The Independent, The Kampala Sun, Bukedde, Kamunye etc all came after 1986. By May 2012 Uganda had 250 licenced radios and 44 televisions.
In the last few years, however, torture of journalists and general intimidation of media practitioners has made hell the working environment of a journalist.
In 2012 freelance photographer Edward Echwalu was beaten by police as he covered the arrest of Dr. Kizza Besigye. Other journalist victims in the Besigye saga included Isaac Kasamani (Daily Monitor), William Ntege (WBS) and Nicholas Mwesigye (Red Pepper). Several others have bean tortured by the Police in separate incidents – and early this year journalist Musaazi Namiti was manhandled for taking a photograph of a policemen on duty. He and his companions missed their flight and had to part with more money to travel after their release from Police cells.
Now Police have besieged premises of Daily Monitor and Red Pepper apparently for publishing stories on Gen. David Sejusa who is reportedly out of the country. Dembe FM and KFM, both managed by Nation Media Group, have been switched off air. Is Gen. Sejusa a rebel? How do journalists now know what to cover and not to cover?
Dear Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen. Kale Kaihura, in this era, when journalists are being beaten and media houses are getting closed over what they do. We need a new direction. Kindly come and teach us how to do our work. We hope that you, in turn, will allow us to teach you how to do yours.
We, the undersigned, call on the Uganda Police to stop the abuse of Press Freedom.
The IGP Kaihura, teach journalists how to do their work! petition to Uganda Police was written by william odinga and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.