STATEMENT ON THE ARREST OF A JOURNALIST IN KABALE FOR ALLEGED ABUSE OF OFFICE OF “EMYOOGA” SACCO FOR JOURNALISTS.
(Kabale 19th July 2021) As more SACCOs and groups continue to be screened and approved to benefit from the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation- ‘Emyooga’, the program centered on economic empowering of people in organized groups investing in various enterprises and categories, The screening process that continued to take place at the different Municipal Headquarters and the team from the President’s Office continue to visit the Municipalities and Districts for fact finding about the program progress in the country. Several SACCOs have so far fulfilled all the requirements Certificates of registration. The Ministry of trade and industry has so far cleared most of the SACCOs to enable them start fully operating in different areas of Uganda. The Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation program, commonly known as “Emyooga” targets SACCO’s formed in specialized fields that need capital to boost their incomes.
Mr. Moses Henry Tahoreraho, the chairperson for Kabale Municipality Journalists Emyooga SACCObased in Southern Division, Kabale Municipality is battling allegations of abuse of office that led to his arrest early in the week and has since been released on bond from Kabale Central Police station on Saturday 17 July 2021. He had been arrested on Friday 16th July 2021 morning on orders of Darius Nandinda, Kabale Resident District Commissioner who said his office received over 15 complaints from Association members accusing him of failure to approve the release of their loans despite meeting all requirements.
Tahoreraho’s arrest he alleges; is a targeted attempt on him as an individual while he believes if there was a merit in the arrest, it would have also led to the arrest of the entire management committee of the SACCO. A statement from his Colleague, Mr. Manure Bright a Treasurer of the Association indicates that whatever is alleged against the journalist who has been in the field since 2009, a Director of Western Media Awards International ltd is an attempt to silence him.
As a Community based organisation, LOSCO is concerned with the arrest of the journalist in question, States Albert Taremwa. “We call upon the Uganda Police Force to investigate the allegations behind the arrest of the journalists. Press Freedom is Cardinal”
Media Freedoms, Freedom of Expression, and Digital rights are core in the development of any given society. These same fundamental rights embolden the very democratic principles any society thrives on. Independent journalism and journalists for this matter are critical in holding leaders accountable through dissemination of information.
We therefore recommend that:
- The Police carries out thorough investigations and find the underlying cause of the issues stated.
- The Micro Finance Support Centre (MSC) and the Office of Community Development carries out an Audit on the same SACCO and produce a Report.
- The District Executive Committee for Emyooga sits to verify the existing Emyooga Groups in the District and establish the Authenticity of the groups and their Management.
- The President’s Office comes out with a statement on the position of the Emyooga Initiative and the control measures in place against such occurrences not to follow the Youth Livelihood Program funds.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Taremwa Albert – Team leader – LOSCO – +256772935100 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Muhereza Peter – Programs Manager – LOSCO – +256782479776 email@example.com