Uganda

Kayunga journalists invest in transport to improve their livelihoods

The journalists in Kayunga under the association, Kayunga Journalists Association (KAJA) are investing in the transport industry as a measure to reduce poverty levels among media practitioners in the district.

This was disclosed in an annual general meeting held at Katikomu Hotel in Kayunga on Saturday March 9. The meeting that was chaired by the association president Mr. Charles Jjuuko resolved to invest in public transport starting with two motorcycles (Boda Boda) this year.

Mr. Eriya Luzinda speaking during the meeting

It also flagged off a fundraising campaign which saw the area member of parliament for Ntenjeru North, Hon. Amos Lugolobi donating a brand new motorcycle.

A report from HRNJ, a human rights body fighting for press freedom in Uganda indicate that journalists in Uganda are facing poverty challenges due to poor pay and “disguised unemployment”. Most journalists in the country are paid less than $20 a month and a freelance journalist paid less than half a dollar per story.

Saul Wokulira, a member of KAJA revealed that some of the association member hardly support their families or meet operation cost like moving to the scene, buying airtime and paying internet costs.

“Professionalism is becoming difficult to be enforced in a community where people are still working for a daily meal”. Wokulira.

Journalists in Uganda are intentionally disempowered. Keeping them in poverty seems to be a mind control method to prevent them from acting professionally. How will one spend a month on a story where he will be paid 1,000/- and his child is sitted at home waiting for school fees.

Geoffrey Wokulira Sebagala, Team Leader, Unwanted Witness Uganda.

Mr. Jjuuko however advised the association members to remain united and desist from taking bribes and “brown envelopes” saying this affects the spirit of professionalism.

A section of KAJA members during an AGM

Mr. Muyinda Bruno, the Executive Director of KAJA advised members to always report media freedom abuse to police saying this is how they can protect the life and property of a journalist.