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The Observer Editorial | Government Is Tampering With Right To Know | In Gen. Sejusa’s Case

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Posted May 14, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in News ~ 8,529 views

     

Three Daily Monitor journalists have been summoned by the police in relation with the publication of a new story about Gen David Sejusa a.k.a. Tinyefuza, whose latest outburst appears to have rattled the establishment.

On the other hand, the minister of Information and National Guidance, Mary Karooro Okurut, says the media have been sensational in their coverage of what she calls “a sensitive national security matter”, and calls for media responsibility.

At the same time, the Uganda Communications Commission management has issued a statement calling for “professional and responsible” coverage and accusing broadcasting media houses of “unbalanced and sensational” broadcasts.

In consideration of these remarks attributed to top government officials and institutions, it would appear that the state seeks to gag the media on this matter. One would have appreciated the pressure on media more if the government’s position was that the story is false.

But as far as we know, General Sejusa has not denied writing a letter to the Director General of Internal Security Organisation (ISO), asking him to investigate reports that there is a plot to assassinate high-ranking state officials perceived to be opposed to the so-called “Muhoozi project.”

Being a senior security officer, and the fact that what he wrote about has been in the public domain for a while, there is clearly a public interest therein, and one of the media’s cardinal roles is to satisfy such curious interest. Whether the contents of Sejusa’s letter hold water or not is not for the media to establish but rather relevant state institutions.

There is no doubt that the media should exercise maximum responsibility and restraint, particularly in cases where national security is at stake. However, the state has not demonstrated that this is the case here.

The best weapon available to government, therefore, is to use the same media space to put the record straight, instead of seeking to intimidate or gag journalists. Doing the latter amounts to tampering with the public’s right to know and the government should not get away with it.

Source — The Uganda Observer News Editorial


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

2 Comments


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    Jos

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