Media Freedom Vital for Uganda- Dutch Ambassador

The Ambassador of Netherlands Alphons Hennekens has said that the press has a responsibility to address issues that affect their community on-going in government and other circles.

He noted that Ugandan’s government is governing because it has the majority number in parliament but this does not necessarily mean that it is automatically right.

Alphons said that there should be alternatives saying that a healthy press and opposition are important because it is clearly indicated in the Constitution of Uganda.

He however cautioned that freedom of the press does not mean absolute freedom and urged the press to report accurately and responsibly for its freedom to be guaranteed and upheld.

He revealed that they are having discussions with the government in order that the freedom of press is respected.

President Yoweri Museveni during his State of the Nation address repeatedly attacked the media and vibrant Opposition Members of Parliament for what they write and talk about the government.

In particular Museveni said that The Daily Monitor News Paper and The East African were wrong when they reported that nothing much was done among the issues the president addressed the nation on last year.

He said that such comments about the government testify that it is working and achieving progress saying that the media houses and opposition members of parliament are enemies and jealousy of his party National Resistance Party (NRM) and government.

Museveni further noted that things cannot worked on at once but rather take time citing that God did not create the world in one day but took his time to achieve the best.

He urged that all issues he addressed the nation on last year will be worked upon and that media is pandering self-deception.

The leader of Opposition Nandala Mafabi said that the president was using escapism while attacking the media and opposition during his state of Nation Address.

He said what the media and Daily Monitor in particular reported about his last year’s address is right saying that Museveni is a total failure because whatever he promises he does not fulfil.

He noted that they are doing an audit about the performance of the president in the last 20 years, containing his pledges and what he has managed to fulfil.

Opposition MP Paul Mwiru of Jinja Municipality said that the President was trying to divert the opposition during the address and he did not take him seriously because it is upon the opposition to talk of what government has failed to do.

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