Bunyoro Minister accused of undermining media role

Bunyoro Affairs Minister, Jenifer Kacha Namuyangu, speaks to journalists after a public dialogue at Kitara Senior Secondary School in Hoima City in December 2021.

Journalists in Bunyoro Region are accusing the State Minister for Bunyoro Affairs, Ms Jenifer Kacha Namuyangu, of keeping a distance from them yet they serve the region she, too, is appointed to serve.

The journalists who spoke to Kazi-njema News claim that she hardly receives their phone calls seeking public information.

Mr Peter Abanabasaazi, a New Vision reporter, says he fails to track the activities of the minister due to occasional appearances in her Hoima office.

“Whenever I try to find out whether she is in her Hoima office, the secretary tells me she is in Kampala,” says Mr Abanabasaazi.

He further explains that Ms Namuyangu sometimes travels with journalists from Kampala who even do not know the problems of Bunyoro.

Mr John Bosco Tugume, the Chairperson Hoima Media Association (HMA), says his office has had limited contact with Minister Namuyangu.

“Of course, she is hard to find in her Hoima office. But if she kept a contact with the media, the message about her programmes for Bunyoro could reach the public,” he says.

Mr Tugume further challenges the minister to start issuing press releases or even organise periodical radio talk shows to speak to the public.

Kazi-njema News could not fully establish how frequent Minister Namuyangu holds radio talk-shows but Mr Fred Byenkya, the Programme Director at Spice FM, says the Minister last had her first talk-show on that radio in January this year.

Mr Robert Atuhairwe, a news reporter for The Albertine Journal says when he gets an opportunity to be invited to cover any ceremony where Ms Namuyangu is a key figure, she comes in five minutes or an hour to the start of the function.

“You find that you are not prepared and you have to run after her car when you are on a boda-boda. So, sometimes you just leave the function”, says Mr Atuhairwe.

The Ministry of Bunyoro Affairs has no any official online media platforms sighted by Kazi-njema News as of June 15, 2022.

Ms Namuyangu recently had functions to distribute iron sheets at different venues including Hoima district headquarters where the Hoima Resident District Commissioner and the Hoima Resident City Commissioner, Mr Emmy Kateera Turyabagyenyi and Mr Badru Mugabi respectively, in their primary speeches reportedly complained about the absence of the press at that function.

Only two local journalists; Mr Robert Gard Tusiime of LBS radio and Mr Geoffrey Tumwesige of BTV were given an urgent invitation by a strange call from someone who claimed to be part of the minister’s team and shortly later a call from a staff of the Hoima district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO’s) office.

“We found when the function was going on and actually we had to conduct interviews afterwards in order to catch up,” Mr Tusiime says.

The third journalist who covered that function was Mr Makolo Mulumba, the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) radio, Masindi correspondent.

Mr Tusiime however, says it was his third time covering a function managed by Bunyoro Affairs Minister, Ms Namuyangu.

Kazi-njema News has registered four calls to Minister Namuyangu going unanswered and without callbacks in two weeks at different intervals.

The last attempt to reach her by phone was received by a person who claimed to be her driver. The person said the minister could not receive the call because she was attending a Parish Development Model (PDM) meeting.  

The whatsapp message sent to her, too, indicated the message reached but was denied attention.


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