Resolution on Uganda Journalists Union (UJU)
This Extraordinary General Meeting of the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) on 16 May 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, reviewed the membership status of the Uganda Journalists Union (UJU).
Noting the decision of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) at its meeting in Brussels on 24-25 March 2012 to expel UJU for non-payment of membership fees;
Further noting the decision of the Steering Committee of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) at its meeting in Tunis on 5 May 2012 to expel UJU following its expulsion by the IFJ;
Recalling the EAJA member unions and associations’ decision on 8 January 2011 in Addis Ababa demanding that the General Secretary of UJU, Stephen Ouma Bwire, apologise for the insults and unsubstantiated allegations he made against the EAJA leadership and member organisations;
Further recalling the decision of the Executive Committee of the EAJA on 28 February 2011 that suspended the General Secretary of UJU, Stephen Ouma Bwire, from his membership of the EAJA Executive Committee and from all EAJA-related activities;
Welcoming the decision of the Steering Committee of the Federation of African Journalists on 26 March 2011 to suspend the General Secretary of UJU, Stephen Ouma Bwire, from his membership of the Steering Committee of FAJ;
Condemning in the strongest terms possible the violent attacks and wild defamatory communications authored, sent and circulated by the UJU leaders and their frontmen and women against the EAJA leadership, the journalists’ organisations in Eastern Africa, the IFJ President and IFJ Africa Director;
Welcoming the decision of the IFJ Administrative Committee on 15 May 2012 to seek “legal advice with a view to take legal action against those who have been originating these defamatory allegations” in Uganda;
Recognising that UJU and its officials have become a tool used to disturb the unity, solidarity and mutual cooperation of our unions through a vicious, negative and distractive campaign aiming to bring the IFJ and its organisations in Africa into disrepute, give a bad name to Africans as easy to manipulate and divide, which is in breach of article 3, paragraph 9, of the EAJA constitution;
The Extraordinary General Meeting therefore resolved unanimously to:
1) Expel forthwith the Uganda Journalists Union (UJU) from its membership of the EAJA in line with article 7, paragraph 1, of the EAJA constitution.
2) Empower the EAJA executive committee to carry out further appropriate actions, including legal action, against those who have been making slanderous and violent defamation and those who are encouraging them.
Dr Muheldin Ahmed Idris
Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA)