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HRNJ-UGANDA’s Efforts Pay off As Kabale Media Practitioners Association Is Launched


After numerous engagements with journalists in the Kigezi sub-region, the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) stood alongside the media community to mark World Press Freedom Day, 2024. This momentous occasion coincided with the launch of the Kabale Media Practitioners Association (KMPA), an umbrella organization for journalists in the region. The establishment of KMPA represents the culmination of HRNJ-U’s extensive efforts in the area, serving as a unifying force for media practitioners and stakeholders across greater Kigezi.

Mr. Robert Ssempala, the Executive Director, and Mr. Moses Magoola, the Programs Manager and Deputy ED, represented HRNJ-Uganda at the Kabale Municipal Stadium during the association’s inauguration. The decision to form KMPA in Kabale stemmed from the pressing challenges faced by journalists in the region, including censorship, outdated equipment, and inadequate pay, which hampered their ability to operate effectively.

Mr. Ssempala expressed confidence that KMPA would enable HRNJ-Uganda to provide more targeted support to organized journalists, contrasting with past efforts that often yielded limited results due to individual engagements.

Echoing this sentiment, Mr. Magoola emphasized the association’s potential to address journalists’ needs, fostering a conducive environment for media freedom in the region and beyond.

During the launch, the Association’s founding Chairperson, Esther Kukundakwe, advocated for improved remuneration for journalists to enhance their professionalism and efficacy in carrying out their duties.

The event also drew the presence of two cabinet Ministers, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi of ICT and National Guidance, and Milly Babalanda, representing the presidency. Dr. Baryomunsi urged journalists to uphold integrity and neutrality in their work while advocating for collaboration between media practitioners and government agencies to effectively fulfill media duties.

Minister Babalanda cautioned against the blending of political activism with journalism, warning that such practices undermine the profession’s integrity and purpose by exploiting private information for personal gain.

In line with the theme for World Press Freedom Day, “A press for the planet: journalism in the face of environmental crisis,” five trees were planted, symbolizing a renewed commitment to environmental conservation amid the ongoing climate change crisis.

Sam Arineitwe, Kabale Municipality Central Division Chairperson, and Godfrey Nyakahuma, Kabale District RDC, reiterated the vital role of journalists in advocating for environmental concerns, emphasizing the need for collective action to address pressing environmental challenges.

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