Journalists in Greater Masaka Sub region on Friday November 17th 2023, unveiled a new Umbrella Body to unite all Media Practitioners in the region
The New association dubbed “Greater Masaka Journalists Association” was launched at Tropic Inn Hotel Masaka to unlock the Media potential
The move to introduce the New Association was launched on 15th September 2023 during the ever first Greater Masaka Media Convention that attracted hundreds of Journalists in Masaka sub region within which Journalists appointed an interim committee to spearhead a process of restoring sanity among the region’s fourth estate.
While Unveiling the New Association, Mr. Farish Magembe the Masaka sub region NBSTV Bureau Chief and the Association Interim Chairperson in his official statement said, it has been quite a long period of operating in turbulence without clear leadership and an esteemed body to gather all Journalists regardless of their vast differences, to foster Journalists welfare, promote their working conditions, address the question of journalists’ rights violations and enforce decorum among members.
“There is no doubt that several attempts have been made to restore sanity but they have not yet yielded positive and everlasting remedy for the chronic disputes we’ve grappled with. On 15th September, 2023 several Journalists from all districts that make up the sub-region gathered in Masaka City to discuss the future of our profession. From a lengthy discussion, several resolutions were made including rebranding the organizing Committee into a steering body to enforce implementation of the resolutions.”
“As per the assignment, we endeavored to discuss with the directors of South Buganda Journalists Association (SOBUJA) out of a series of meetings we agreed to resolve the longstanding fracas, it was a joyful moment when we agreed and a joint statement was written for both sides to append signatures on the following day and then a joint communication be made. To our dismay the Principal on the side of the directors of the other entity changed the entire agreement and set new fresh conditions including “retaining the documents of the association even after elections” which frustrated the entire process.”
“As a result we invoked the powers you entrusted us with and agreed to come up with a new umbrella body which is one of the positions some members have pushed for quite a long period but we had to first exploit all amicable avenues until we failed. Therefore, it’s our sincere honour and privilege to unveil to you the new Umbrella body of all Journalists in the name of the GREATER MASAKA JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION” The statement reads.
Mr. Farish Magembe adds that the official launch of the Association will be held in January 2024 after electing the Association leaders
“We shall distribute membership registration forms through leaders and coordinators of various districts and later in a meantime the electoral roadmap will be announced to give ourselves new leadership that will steer us to greater heights.” Farish said.
He commended Journalists for their generosity and support towards this process intended to unify the Media fraternity in Masaka sub-region
Mr. Ssenkabirwa Al-Mahad, the Daily Monitor Central Region Bureau Chief who also graced the unveiling function said, for the last seven years he has worked in Masaka sub region he had not seen any efforts done to unite Journalists not until recently when he was tipped about the Greater Masaka Media convention
“I have never seen any activity organised to professionalize or unite Journalists in the region. When the young men introduced the greater Masaka Media Convention to advocate for peace, unity and reconciliation amongst the media fraternity, reshaping the Image of the Fraternity, and advocating for professionalism amongst the members of the 4th Estate, I had to support them. We commend the team for their efforts and with no doubt the association is a new dawn to the region’s Press.” Ssenkabirwa said
Mr. Brian Ssenyange, the President Ssembabule Journalists Association said it has been a long wait to see this New Association in formation because their efforts to reshape the fraternity under the old association that was taken over by unprofessional Journalists for their personal gains have always been futile
“At the convention, I personally moved a motion to formulate a new association since I was angered by the behaviors of the so called seniors who even in a broad daylight before dignitaries and cameras had to tell lies of restoring SOBUJA from a limited company to an Association,” Ssenyange said
Ms. Ampaire Patience who represented Lyantonde District at the unveiling function, Mr. Bukenya (Rakai District), Ms. Ruth Nassazi (Kyotera District), Mr. Sseggujja Sadic (Lwengo District), Mr. Matia Ssebuwufu (Masaka City), Mr. Jingo Fahad (Masaka City) and other senior Journalists commended the interim committee for the efforts towards introducing the new beginning.
Elections will be held in January 2024 after mobilising members across the 9 districts and City making up Masaka sub region, ie Bukomansimbi, Ssembabule, Kalangala, Lyantonde, Lwengo, Kyotera, Rakai, Kalungu, Masaka District and Masaka City.
The abandoned and neglected association South Buganda Journalists Association (SOBUJA) was registered as a private limited company by three CBSFM Journalists namely Ssozi Ssekimpi Lwazi, Tomusange Kayinja, Male John and their counterparts who have for over eight years used it to pocket cheques in the name of the region’s Media fraternity and to put confusion that has resulted into endless verbal fights and many sorts of indiscipline amongst the Pressmen and Women, and from today whoever deals with any of the mentioned Individuals does it at their own risk not the region’s media association.
The Idea of restoring sanity amongst the fourth estate which was kick started by community corporate social responsibilities across the region and later the ever first media Convention was welcomed by a number stakeholders working with the Media in the region who even raised funds to support the Journalists union.
The Association of Persons living with HIV/AIDS (ADPHA Uganda), the Armoured Brigade Kasijjagirwa, St. Henry’s College Kitovu (SHACK), Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda (HRNJ), Hotel Next Masaka and SEGKEN Services, Lubowa SSebina Foundation plus a number of individuals all supported the Greater Masaka Media Convention 2023 that laid a foundation to the birth of the new body Greater Masaka Media Association.
By Maurice Peter Matovu
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