The Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ) has called on politicians to desist from interfering with the operations of the media in unlawful manner.
Robert Sempala, the National Coordinator HRNJ, in particular cites the Resident City Commissioner (RCC) of Kampala Mpimbaza Hashaka, whose actions he describes as baseless and a direct attack on the media.
On the 5th of November Hashaka wrote to the management of Radio One and Akaboozi claiming they were using the radio stations to tarnish the image of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and that of government.
In his letter, Hashaka stated that the two radio stations were increasingly being used to deliberately frustrate government programmes. He adds that most of the time the two radios host negative elements that include members of the opposition who either tell lies or tarnish the image of KCCA.
The RCC cites an example of Akaboozi radio presenter Abbey Kyewalyanga commonly known as Basajja Mivule, who hosted the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago on Monday November 4th. During the programme, Hashaka says, Lukwago made a lot of false allegations which included lying that money sent by government and that collected by KCCA is stolen and misallocated.
RCC Hashaka added that if the radio stations must host a person tarnishing the image of government or KCCA, they should at least co-host somebody to diffuse the lies or give equal opportunities to the government offices to say the truth and protect the image of government.
Sempala condemns Hashaka’s action arguing that it is not only intimidating but intended to force the two radio stations and the media to deny citizens with divergent views a chance to express their opinion.