Saturday, December 13, 2014
Appreciation to the Media
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
On Wednesday, 3 December, 2014, the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda debated and passed a motion to investigate a complaint against underperformance of the Law Development Centre (LDC). There was unusual unity in the august House with only one member from the opposition against passing the motion. Members directed that the complaint be investigated by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and report back to them. I salute our Members of Parliament for their demonstrated nationalism and wise foresight in handling this matter.
The complaint was published on 28 January 2014 and is available online at http://www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com/2014/05/complaint-concerning-under-performance_10.html. It raises issues of great national importance, exposing the cruelty, oppression and tyranny of LDC, proposing that LDC’s monopoly over the Bar course be broken by devolving the teaching of the course to universities in Uganda offering Bachelor of Laws degree programmes. I thank God who revealed to me the ongoing abuses at the Centre and gave me the vision and wisdom on how to move forward against them, which I proposed to the nation in the complaint.
Many people have stood by me, playing key roles in pursuit of this matter. I promised that at an appropriate moment, I shall publish a list of those actively involved in this struggle. For now however, I would like to appreciate and pay tribute to media houses that supported us. The story is now big and self-selling and so, the media will naturally take it on with ease, but the under-mentioned media practitioners – radio stations, newspapers and reporters – who to the best of my knowledge joined us in the early days of the struggle by publicizing our cause, at a moment when we were unknown and virtually nothing, deserve special commendation. We are eternally grateful.
First was Radio One and its sister station Akaboozi FM that aired our complaint in its news bulletins a few days after publishing the complaint. I even missed their phone call for an interview.
Second was The Observer newspaper that published an extensive analysis of the complaint in its edition of February 5 – 6, 2014. The analysis was done by Sulaiman Kakaire and Edward Ssekika.
Third was the New Vision newspaper that on several occasions published a series of letters from me and other members of the public. Probably the most instrumental was my letter in Saturday Vision of 9 August 2014 exposing the deception and extortion underlying the pre-entry exam, which is jointly organized by LDC and the Law Council. The following Monday, the Council announced a three years exemption from sitting the exam for those who had previously sat and passed it.
Fourth was the Daily Monitor newspaper that reported on the pre-entry exam, basing on the motion in Parliament. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the date of publication and who the writer was.
Fifth was Capital FM radio station that also publicised some of our activities in its news bulletins. I recall that producer Moses Kidandi called to interview me on the matter.
This media coverage, however little, was very instrumental in popularizing our cause, thereby greatly simplifying our work and garnering legitimacy for my team and I, as champions of the struggle. We hope to continue working with these and more media houses. The LDC problem demands collective effort from all of us because it is blind to nationality, ethnicity, religion, skin colour and other physical descriptions.