Monday, October 10, 2011

Radio station succumb to pressure, suspends a political talks-how

Masindi, 5th/October/2011; Kitara fm has reportedly suspended its political talk show and replaced it with a sports programme due to pressure from the Resident District Commissioner.
The station’s Director reportedly made the decision after he attended one of the district security meetings in which the issue was discussed.
The suspended talk-show Kikukwasireho meaning ‘What concerns you’ in English has been aired every Sunday between 12:00 and 3:00pm and hosted by Samuel Kajumba aka Lucky Sam.
The talk-show has sparked controversy since September this year and Kajumba has since undergone questioning by various district security officials who have demanded an apology from him.
The problem stem from September 18th talk-show which accused UPDF soldiers of having used brutal methods while arresting one Roger Musinguzi, a proprietor of a bar in Masindi town.
The Masindi Resident District commissioner Maj. David Matovu has reportedly reiterated the need for Kajumba to apologize to him. Matovu accused Kajumba was misleading the public and causing unnecessary confusion to discredit the otherwise good image of security.
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has learnt that RDC Matovu is allegedly demanding for an apology directly from the radio whose actions have resulted into the management pressuring Kajumba to do so.
We have also noted that Kajumba was turned away by his bosses on 2nd/September/2011 when he reported for work.
“When I went to the radio for a talk-show my bosses asked me why I had not yet sent him my apology to the RDC Matovu. He told me not to tempt him to lose his patience” Kajumba said on 5th/October/11.
He added that he was contemplating to apologize to save his job although he said his conscience was telling him that he is innocent.
When HRNJ-Uganda contacted the Director of Kitara FM Abdu Alifaijo Kiirya he declined to comment on the developments saying he does not discuss station matters outside the radio premises.
“We question RDC Matovu’s interest in the apology. Our fear that such an apology can be used against the radio or presenter for aiding someone to desert the army since the person who was brutally arrested was lined before division court martial, charged with desertion and pleaded guilty” said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala
HRNJ-Uganda demands that RDC Matovu should pursue his case in courts of law other than being deceptive to the journalist.
We also call upon the radio management to exercise its independence and professionalism as away to defend its employee.
For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Kivebulaya Road – Mengo Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Pre. School
P.O.BOX. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627

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