The Media Challenge Initiative (MCI) has strongly condemned the violent attack against journalists who were invited to cover developments at the party headquarters of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in Najjanankumbi – Kampala, Uganda’s Capital.
In a statement issued on 20th July, 2023 titled ‘Concern and Disappointment at Violence against Journalists at FDC Party Headquarters in Najjanankumbi – Kampala’ Mr Mpindi Abaas, the CEO & Executive Director Media Challenge Initiative said such acts not only endanger the safety of media professionals but also hinder the principles of press freedom that are vital for an informed and thriving society.
‘’During their duty to cover the postponement of the FDC internal party elections, a number of journalists including our Media Fellow Ainembabazi Nowamani, currently interning at the New Vision, were subjected to distressing and unacceptable aggression by violent unidentified persons outside the party headquarters’’, reads a statement issued on Thursday evening.
He urged all parties involved to respect the safety and security of journalists, ensuring they can carry out their responsibilities without fear of harm or intimidation.
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‘’We oppose any form of violence directed at journalists, who play an essential role in informing the public with unbiased and accurate information. Our heartfelt support and solidarity go out to all affected journalists during this difficult time.’’.
He noted that MCI will continue advocating for the protection of journalists across the country and is committed to fostering a responsible and vibrant media environment and called upon all stakeholders to collaborate in creating a safe space for journalists to fulfill their crucial role in society.
Earlier today, FDC chairman, Mr Wasswa Birigwa, had been blocked from accessing the party premises in Najjanankumbi, where he was scheduled to address the media on matters pertaining to the party structural elections. According to Doreen Nyanjura, the directive to block Mr Birigwa was given by the party secretary general, Mr Nandala Mafabi.
Journalists were blocked from accessing the headquarters after Birigwa had been allowed to access the premises before he was held incommunicado
Hours later, Unidentified people from inside the FDC party headquarters attacked journalists who had been blocked from accessing the party premises.