Uganda: Experts Warn On Gagging Dissenting Voices in Fight Against Covid

26 October 2021

Information experts have warned government and other stake holders including the media owners against gagging dissenting voices in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Sonia Elijah, a former BBC investigative journalist and researcher, instead urged government and other stakeholders to listen to the dissenting views on the fight against Covid-19 as the same may be useful.

The investigative journalists stated: "The information that government could be agitated with ranges from alternative proposed remedies to the same pandemic fight, asking of genuine questions to asking of innocent questions, which shouldn't be turned down."

Ms Sonia cited her own experience where in July this year, her own work was pulled down from various media platforms after interviewing a scientist, Dr Robert Malone, the inventor of mRNA.

"When I posted the interview of the scientist on YouTube, it was pulled down within three hours," Ms Sonia said while speaking at a virtual Town Hall meeting on Monday.

The virtual meeting was organised under the theme: "Covid-19 and the media. Have they given us all we must know about the pandemic?"

Core to Dr Robert's interview according to Ms Sonia was that he raised a red flag on how vaccines such as Pfizer and Modena, were classified as gene therapy vaccines, which didn't undergo proper clinical trials.

She further cited the example of UK not heeding to two rulings by Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation not to vaccinate children between 12 to 15 years. This was despite it being signaled out that the risks outweighed the advantages.

She went on to point out what she called deliberate campaign in some countries to suppress the proposed interventions against the fight against the pandemic such as Ivermectin, which has been dismissed by WHO, despite posting effective results.

Speaking at the same virtual meeting, Kampala-based lawyer, Simon Ssenyonga, said he was blacklisted by one of the leading media houses for giving his divergent religious views on the fight against Covid-19.

"After churches reopened partially, I was invited on one of the leading television stations and I made a statement which they thought was out of contest in the fight against Covid. That media station was after that, put under pressure to retract my statement," Mr Ssenyonga said.

He continued: "When I expressed my religious views on Covid, I was being maligned, attacked and blacklisted by ministry of health and other stakeholders."

Ms Sarah Birete, the executive director, Centre for Constitutional Governance, said the media played both positive and negative roles in the fight against Covid.

"The media gave us too much information, especially in the second wave that we the consumers, got a scare and started becoming our own doctors since we were driven into self-isolation and took all concoctions." Ms Birete said.

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