By Gladys Nanyombi
KAMPALA-In a bid to re-embark a good relationship between the Uganda peoples’ Defense forces and the media both parties have organized a friendly match which will take place at Fillip Omondi Stadium at Lugogo on Friday April 16, 2021.
Addressing journalists at the Uganda media center in Kampala, Afande Deo Akiiki the UPDF deputy spokesperson said that, the Army decided to strengthen its friendship with the media through football and believes it will nurture a relationship because we all need each other for the development of our country.
“The UPDF has been working together with the media in all government activities not until the monster Covid-19 and elections of 2021 came in where so many journalists have been treated unfairly therefore we decided to come up with the media UPDF day to see that the UPDF can sit on the round table with the media and discuss issues of interest,” he said.
He said that there will be a number of activities that will take place including two football matches, a symposium and a dinner.
Robert Ssempala the Executive Director, Uganda Human Rights Network for Journalists(UHRNJ) says this reunion is focused on creating a new beginning between the UPDF and journalists.
“Due to the ongoing cries by journalists against the UPDF, in this bit we are trying to come together to see that we sit and dialogue actions that seek the gap between us because both of us need each other,” Says Ssempala.
This comes at a time when Journalists have been battling with security agencies over the brutality against them which had distorted their relationship from the UPDF.
In the same development National Broadcasters Association (NAB) secretary general, Joseph Beyanga, says this is done to protect journalists and ensure media freedom and rights thus this will be a culmination of the journey of re-embarking the beauty of the profession.
“we have been engaging with the senior leadership of UPDF and we are looking forward at how to protect the journalists to promote and defend media freedom and to make sure that Journalism becomes conducive for everybody as a profession and to put up a good image”, he added.
It should be remembered that on many occasions journalists faced police brutality and many have been harmed and nothing has been done.