S sentiments are not helping
being behind Mr Kyagulanyi’s political strategy and international media appearances, was on the other hand denied a work permit.
But Mr Sempala says treatment of local media has been more vicious.
“The treatment of journalists in recent months has a more violent twist to it. It is also well targeted,” he said.
Previously, Mr Sempala said it was easy to encounter a number cases of mistaken identity and random beatings but this is no longer the case. He explained that in the past, government security agents targeted journalists who were not well known or those who worked for obscure media houses. Lately, he said, well known journalists were being targeted citing the case of a Nile Broadcasting Services journalist who having gone into hiding, was tricked through her editor to meet security operatives.
Over the past two months, Mr Sempala says that 29 journalists have been tortured, arrested, beaten and had their equipment confiscated. He says that there is a pattern to the attacks, and it happens whenever the president Museveni criticizes the media. He said that generally the president had a tendency to malign the profession with utterances that would cause them to be treated as rumour mongers. But this year, his statements have been threatening.
During the budget speech for example, President Museveni wondered why the Aga Khan was looking on as his media house the Daily Monitor maligned Uganda, a country from which he makes money. On other occasions he has targeted NTV, also from the same stable.
According to Mr Sempala, the president’s comments makes it difficult to practice journalism in the country.
Police keep vigil in Kampala last year as journalists protest government harassment of media houses.