By Peter Ssebulime
Uganda police force’s (UPF) spokesperson Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Emilian Kayima has called on Ugandan journalists to always cross check their facts more on stories that have a direct impact on individuals or institutions. Kayima said the media has been accused of publishing stories that impact on lives of individuals or institutions which in most cases result into danger,and very often, sometimes they are not true, yet the impact already created can’t be reversed.
He made the remarks on Tuesday at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala while attending a media dialogue between police and journalists that was organized by Centre for public Interest law. The dialogue aimed at advancing press freedom and media independence in Uganda under the theme; “Rethinking support mechanism for safety of journalists“.
“Media needs to do further investigations before publishing stories and with that there will be a clear working relationship between the two parties. There is also a need to find a mechanism of talking to each other [police and journalists] in order to bring back our relationship. Those who think that their rights have been violated by Uganda police, it can be corrected” Kayima promised.
Kayima also revealed that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) is in the last stages of preparations for a dialogue between them (police) and all editors of all media houses in Uganda to discuss and resolve issues pertaining their relationship in order to bridge the gaps.
Meanwhile, in attendance was newly elected Uganda law society president Mr.Simon Peter Kinobe who, in his closing remarks, on behalf of the law society decried gross human rights violations by Uganda Police and other security agencies in the country and called on police to instead check themselves rather than blame members of the press for covering the same.
“Uganda law Society is concerned with the current human rights violations in Uganda especially the police brutality against journalists while executing their work, as ULS, we will provide free legal services to journalists whose rights have been violated by security officers. We can’t stand with violators of the law but will stand with the media in the struggle for their safety, because if we keep quiet as human rights are being violated, we will be promoting impunity” Kinobe said.