Hardly a week in his new job as Uganda’s new Internal Affairs minister, General Aronda Nyakairima has sternly warned critical media and civil society activists that he will enforce a stricter media regulation policy and would restrain NGOs that engage in activities different from those they registered for.
Gen Nyakairima, whose appointment by the Ugandan leader Gen Yoweri Museveni sparked an uproar on the benches of the opposition in parliament, said he would closely follow the undertakings made by both the independent Daily Monitor newspaper and the Red Pepper tabloid before they were allowed to resume trade after being closed down for nearly two weeks recently.
Opposition Members of Parliament walked out of the House last week as Gen Nyakairima’s appointment while still a serving army officer was approved by parliament mostly through the majority members on the appointments committee who belong to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). “Recently (Daily) Monitor and Red Pepper were closed and there were undertakings made. I will be checking on them whether they are followed because Red Pepper again is going back to the old business.” Nyakairima warned.
He made the remarks at a hand over ceremony from his predecessor, Eng. Hillary Onek at the Ministry of Internal Affairs headquarters in Kampala. Nyakairima vowed to crack down on what he termed as ‘unprofessional’ media practitioners. “The media must do professional research. If you can’t research, you have no business of holding a camera. Go and research, therefore as you have the right to do your work, people have the right to be actually informed and helped.”