By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: Government has warned all media houses against hosting politicians and guests who don the ‘People Power’ red berets while on air.
The directive has been issued by the government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo in a meeting with media owners under their association of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), saying whoever goes beyond these directives will be disobeying the rule of law.
“The gazette by Uganda People’s Defence forces stands until its quashed by a court of law. Anyone who wanted to stop the process would have sought court injunction but for now, it is illegal,” said Opondo.
The government’s directives come after a year when the gazette listed the red beret as official military attire and banned civilians from wearing it. The past weeks have seen security operatives making operations arresting supporters and politicians donning the People Power signature red beret not only in the public but also within TV premises.
After various and ‘unnecessary’ raids on various media houses NBS TV inclusive, NAB petitioned government asking for respect and protection of members of the fourth estate.
In their petition, NAB asked for support when executing their duties, refraining from arresting guests of media houses at their premises before, during and after talk shows.
“Respect and stop interfering with our programmes and desist from issuing unnecessary threats to media houses. In cases you believe, some of the programmes breach any regulations, the issue should be followed up with the relevant regulators and continue to support media houses and our journalists to operate 24/7 during curfew, election period and even after,” said NAB in one of the petitions.
Furious NAB members in another petition asked security agencies to work on the brutality of the forces against their journalists and panellists, at a time when the country is preparing for the 2021 general elections.