By Our Reporter
KAMPALA, Uganda [SHIFTMEDIA] Martin Luther King Jr said: “Our Lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
On March 16 2022, some five months ago, a driver, Mahad Mohammed, aged 53, working with Dembe Enterprises Limited was clobbered to death by a gang of security guards under the watchful eye of the lady manager
A few journalists took the initiative to highlight about this gruesome murder, that led to the subsequent arrest of purported killers as well as the lady Manager identified as Uwera Zia.
The others arrested and charged with murder included: Odeke Gideon the Head of Security at Dembe Trading Enterprises Limited, John Nambulu a driver at Senaca Uganda Limited, Adrapi Muzamiru an operations assistant at Senaca a local private firm and Maurice Atuhaire.
Mahad’s, case is just one of the few among hundreds, or thousands that gets to the limelight. Scores of other Ugandans being tormented, harassed and humiliated at the work place by purported investors, mainly Chinese and Indians, remains un reported in the media.
Call to Action
It is upon this that the Chairman General National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) Usher Wilson Owere urged the media to up their game and remain vigilant in reporting issues related to violation of worker’s rights.
“As Journalists you play a key role in defending the rights of workers. Look at the case of Mahad, the Dembe worker who was murdered in the boardroom. We did play our part and ensured that all suspects including the key suspects were arrested, charged and remanded,” said Owere.
“But it is very annoying to note that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has ordered the release of one of the key suspects in this murder case (Uwera) despite overwhelming evidence pinning her.” “As Media don’t keep quiet when justice towards Mahad’s case is being dragged under, keep the fire burning,” said Owere
Owere made the remarks while opening a Media training workshop organized by Voices for Labour (VFL) supported by the International Lawyers Assisting Worker’s Network (ILAW) and Solidarity Center (AFL-IO) East and Horn of Africa Regional Office.
The training whose theme was “The Role of Media in Defending Workers’ Rights in the informal Economy’ was held at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Wednesday.
Robinah Kagoye the Founder and CEO, Voices for Labour said the media plays a key role in articulation of challenges facing the informal economy workers and their operations. “The media creates awareness to their audiences about the prevailing conditions of rights and contribution of the informal economy to the country,” said Kagoye.
She noted that journalists may however not be averse with the national and international legal processes that are necessary to promote and protect the rights and conditions of informal economy workers.
Ms. Jacqueline Wambui Wamai, the Regional Coordinator Sub Saharan Africa ILAW said local and national authorities often devalue the contribution made by the informal economy workers who constitute over 80% of the workforce.
At the same training a report conducted by Voices for Labour and ILAW on the state of the informal Economy and the Law in Uganda was launched.
Caroline M Kasina Program Coordinator Solidarity Center, and her counterpart Ogutu Alex later took the media through the developing of the media strategy on the informal economy and the guiding principles on media reporting in the informal economy.