Uganda elections approach amid hostile environment for media

By Murithi Mutiga/CPJ East Africa Correspondent on


Robert Agenonga, 23, and a few other youth activists set up in 2011 the Lake Albert Youth Cabinet Media Project, a group which seeks to use social media and direct community engagement through village meetings to campaign for greater transparency in the exploitation of the significant oil deposits found in the area in 2006.

The young activists have faced consistent harassment from authorities.

On February 4, two campaigners, Sam Ozinda and Charles Adubango, were arrested at their homes a few days after holding a mini exhibition of cartoons in Nebbi district to highlight what they said was the loss of money donated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority for a fencing project for several schools in the area.

They were accused of defamation and spreading false information against a powerful national government official who hails from the region and released on bond.

Agenonga told CPJ the activists faced other forms of intimidation by authorities.

“Sometimes you have local council officials going around telling the people that we are foreign agents or spies because our work is supported by donors or sometimes they say we are gay, all in an effort to set the community against us,” he said. He said the team is still determined to continue shining a light on corruption among government officials.

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