By Frank Kamuntu
John Njoroge, a four our-time Human Rights Award winner, whose carrier in journalism started in 2007 has joined the mighty Spy Uganda as head of the Investigations and Special Projects Desk.
Njoroge, a house hold name is a celebrated veteran journalist whose name caused goosebumps in Government and public sector, during his days at The Independent Publications Limited, The Daily Monitor, The CEO Magazine and The Radar Publications, where he investigated ground-breaking stories within the East African region.
Njoroge is one of the five African journalists so, who have twice been previously invited to observe and report on US elections. The daring and sophisticated journalist has also previously been a war reporter in the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for Daily monitor. Both countries are known for insurgencies due to competition for resources, power, military repression and the colonial legacy, among others.
While welcoming him officially into the winning team of young vibrant journalists at Spy Uganda, the Company’s CEO Andrew Irumba Katusabe revealed that Njoroge, a long time buddy joining the team is one of the best things to have happened so far to the Spying family this year.
“We have been speaking what others fear, now that we’ve added another daring voice of Njoroge, haaa……,” Irumba said. He added thus; “I don’t know how many times I and Njoroge have met at CID Kibuli for speaking what other people fear. The most memorable times are the BoU/Crane Bank saga. Now that we’re going to join our voices and speak in unison it means our voices will even go further. I tell you what guys, when you join Irumba with Njoroge, it’s going to be ‘bloody'”.
At Daily Monitor Publications Limited, Njoroge was a senior investigative reporter in charge of corruption investigations and war reporting.
”I was posted in Somalia, the Central African Republic (CAR), The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, where I reported extensively on conflict. Then in Somalia, I was embedded with the African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) and reported from the front-line, four times a year between 2010 and 2013. I wrote on the peacekeeping progress and on the efforts to rehabilitate Somalia,” Njoroge shared his experience in the media while talking to this reporter, adding, ”I also reported on the humanitarian efforts and logistical challenges faced by the peacekeepers. Additionally, I uncovered an aid theft scandal involving Ugandan troops in Somalia.”
”In the DRC, I spent a substantial amount of time with the M23 rebels and followed their war until they were defeated. I got to learn about their funding and the politics behind the M23, including Uganda
and Rwanda’s involvement with the rebels.
In CAR, I reported on efforts to neutralize rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lords Resistance Army (LRA) by Ugandan troops and American commandos.”
At Independent Publications Limited, Njoroge wrote extensively about corruption and Human Rights abuses orchestrated by the Ugandan military towards opposition politicians and suspected rebel collaborators.
”Between 2008 and 2009, I run two columns titled Torture in Safe-houses and Prison stories where I documented atrocities committed by Uganda’s military intelligence. During those days I was arrested and tortured countless times over these works,” adds Njoroge.
Njoroge’s resilience in his journalism carrier saw him being awarded with Lorenzo Natali Human Rights Award and the Peace Prize Uganda awarded to him by the late Prof. Wangare Mathai.
The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize honours the courage of journalists whose stories shine a light on the common challenges facing this planet and its people. It rewards excellent reporting on the topics of:
- poverty eradication
- sustainable development
- environment, biodiversity, climate action
- jobs and employment
- education and skills development
- peace, democracy and Human Rights. The Natali Prize was created by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA), and named after Lorenzo Natali, a precursor to the International partnerships approach to global challenges impacting society. Mr Njoroge, without further a do, welcome to winning team….