UJA Sec Gen Faults President for Undermining Constitution, Hints at Legal Action

UJA Secretary General, Moses Bayola (R) addressing the media recently

The Secretary General of the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA), Mr Bayola Moses has accused the Association President, Mr Robert Kagolo of undermining the body’s Constitution and overstepping his mandate.

This followed yesterday’s press conference during which Mr Kagolo announced that members of the Executive had sat on April 23 and entrusted an Administrator with the authority to manage the Secretariat. Part of the roles to be performed by the said administrator included issuance of member identity cards and registration of new members, roles originally entrusted with the Secretary General.

The President also asked Mr Bayola to hand over the office keys to the appointed administrator.

But according to Bayola, the said Executive meeting was illegal and all the said resolutions are null and void. He wondered why Kagolo had chosen to abrogate the constitution. He also questioned where the office of the administrator is provided in the UJA Constitution.

“There is no complexity here at all and there was no executive meeting, this is sheer ignorance by some people. As per the Constitution, it is the Secretary General to call for such meetings. In which capacity did he [Kagolo] call for that meeting if it was valid? It was illegal because it contravenes our laws,” Bayola told SoftPower News.

Asked whether he was informed about the said executive meeting, Bayola said that he was requested by the President to hold the meeting on Wednesday April 25 which he did, but was shocked to hear from some members that the President was promising them transport to attend a meeting two days prior to the scheduled meeting.

“I was surprised when he started calling members intimidating and telling them about how I was misleading them,” Bayola said.

For sometime now, there have been alleged misunderstandings between the two UJA leaders which have resulted into two parallel camps. This has frustrated the running of the sribes’ Association including organizing the forthcoming elections which were earlier scheduled for May 3.

The two factions have postponed the elections and proposed different dates. While addressing the press yesterday, Kagoro said that elections had been shifted from May 3 (which is also World Press Day) to June 30, to accord journalists ample time for preparation.

However, Bayola says that he as the Secretary General has gazetted May 26 for the elections.

Bayola also rubbished claims that human rights lawyer, Ssemakadde Isaac whom his camp tasked to oversee the voting process on May 26 is the Association’s lawyer. He challenged anyone to present any evidence to prove the allegations.

He had tasked the Vice President to champion dialogue aimed at solving the existing division in the Association which Kagolo yesterday vowed not to be part of. Now, Bayola has threatened to sue Kagolo in the courts of law.

“That is being timid, we are watching and we are ready to take him on. We are following the law, and we shall sue him if he tries to fail us,” stressed Bayola.

Even if the fate of UJA elections is not yet known to the public, several journalists have already declared their interests to contest for the top seat and among them are Agnes Nandudu of NTV, Mbowa Nathan of Digida FM and Simon Njala Kaggwa of NBS TV.

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