The Electoral Commission and the Online Media Publishers Association (OMPA) this morning agreed to work together towards sensitizing the public and voters as the country prepares for the 2021 General Elections.
This move is in line with the Electoral Commission’s strategy to mobilize stakeholder support as they prepare for the General Elections. The Electoral body pledged to offer training workshops at National and Regional levels for media personnel so as to equip them with knowledge of the electoral process to enable improvement in the area of election reporting.
Speaking to the members of the Association, Electoral Commission Secretary, Mr. Sam Rwakoojo said the meeting was very crucial to discuss our electoral process and how we can work together to enhance democracy, good governance, stability and prosperity as 2021 fast approaches.
“The general public, and particularly the electorate, will be following all the electoral activities through the media. We, therefore, consider it very crucial for media practitioners to have a deeper understanding of the roadmap and the processes involved, in order to ease your information and education functions,” he remarked.
“As a country which is at the point of making critical decisions concerning its leadership, we count on you to promote awareness among the national and international community, about the readiness of Ugandans for a smooth electoral exercise. ” he continued.
The Electoral Commission called upon online media publishers to pay extra attention to the promotion of balanced and objective coverage of the 2021 General Elections Roadmap, to exercise the highest level of professionalism so as to avoid chances of inciting violence through unbalanced, inaccurate or inflammatory reporting. On media safety during the electoral process, the Commission promised to develop guidelines on media rights as well as their responsibilities, presence, security.
Giles Muhame, President of the Online Media Publishers Association called for a portion of the Electoral Commission budget to be spent on advertising with online news platforms since audiences are heavily moving online.
Concluding the meeting, Sam Rwakoojo reassured the members of the Association and the general public about the electoral body’s commitment to peaceful fraud-free elections in 2021:
“The Commission has built and continues to build capacity at all levels, to meet the legal, technological, logistical and administrative challenges which often come with polling day and post polling processes. We count on you to project Uganda in a positive way, that is, as a people who are committed to a peaceful electoral process”, he concluded.