Since my appointment as Minister for Information and National Guidance, I have interacted with some of you individually at different fora, but we have not had an opportunity to formally meet.
Today’s interaction is, therefore, therefore, a good opportunity for us and explore ways of enhancing synergies between the media and Government.
Let me also to take this opportunity to thank you for investing in our growing and highly vibrant media industry.
Your media houses are not only contributing tax revenue to Uganda’s treasury but are also employing many of our young people.
Your media houses are also acting as vital platforms for informing, educating and entertaining the people of Uganda.
Much as proprietors and managers are not directly involved in the generation and dissemination of information, Government acknowledges and salutes your noble efforts.
Indeed, I have been seeking an opportunity to interact with, because as proprietors and managers, you are key decision makers who we need to engage for purposes of of building stronger ties between the media and Government.
I am, therefore, happy to note that you have generously and candidly shared with today, as continue to build and enhance Government-Media relations in Uganda.
The views you have shared with us will greatly enrich our policy development initiatives, as we strive to build a media that is robust, truly professional, nationalistic and development-oriented.
I say truly professional and nationalistic, because as Ministry, we have observed that we still have a few media houses and personnel who indulge in sensational reporting, exaggeration and out-right deceit.
A few others indulge in relaying material bordering on sectarianism, un-researched allegations, biased commentaries and un-balanced moderation, especially of talk-shows.
Apart from indulging in defamation, some other media houses also disseminating pornographic material, scandalising our children and mothers of this country.
These types of media platforms are not many, but are corrupting our morals as Africans and acting contrary to the socio-economic aspirations of Uganda.
Therefore, a proprietors and managers of media houses, I am impressing it upon you to remind your personnel about their responsibility to our country.
I have met some of the lower level media personnel from media houses and shared with them these concerns, but the desirable improvement has yet been realised.
As their supervisors, I am sure, your voice would add value towards ensuring that we have a media that builds, other than breaking up morals, families, communities and the country at large.
As Government, we are often at pains to invoke any Policy and Legal sanctions against our errant media houses, because the NRM fought to restore Constitutionalism, freedom of speech and a liberal media space in Uganda.
My Ministry is available for purposes of continuous engagement with media proprietors, managers, editors and reporters to ensure that we remind ourselves of our respective obligations for national cohesion, stability, for common good and for posterity.
Otherwise, I applaud you for ensuring contributing to the democratisation process of Uganda, by offering platforms for varied opinions on several topical issues.
All we need now, is a commitment of continuing to work towards full professionalism and higher levels of responsibility within the media.
As Minister responsible for the Sector, my door is always open for consultations and my technical team will remain at your disposal, as we continue nurturing our media in Uganda.
The NRM Government liberalised the sector, and we remain as committed as ever towards supporting you until our media grows and reaches its fullest potential.
I thank you for listening to me and hope you travel to your respective destinations.
Thank you very much for coming, and with those few remarks, I declare this meeting closed.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
Closing remarks by the minister of Information And National Guidance, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, at the media proprietors’ meeting, Hotel Africana