Ntungamo. The Deputy Attorney General, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana, has accused the media of promoting hatred and disunity in society, saying it has created extremism based on tribal and religious sentiments.
Speaking at a function organised for his FM station in Ntungamo District on Monday, Mr Rukutana said major cases of extremism in Africa are fuelled by the media that feature stories on terror and social divisions in society, leading to more radicalism.
“What we have seen in South Sudan, what happened in Rwanda, Kenya or Somalia is because the media, mainly radio stations have continuously publicised acts of terror,” the minister said.
Mr Rukutana, also the Rushenyi MP, cautioned radio presenters and journalists against using divisive language in broadcasting and writing, saying this can cause harm to societies that they represent such as what happened in Ntungamo in the 1990s.
“There was a time when in Ntungamo, we were all divided along tribal and religious lines. Some people were saying these belong to this tribe and (others)ould not associate with those of the other religion,” Mr Rukutana said.
“You remember when people were being harassed here because they could not speak Runyankole some people have started it in my constituency. Now, radios and newspapers must fail it, they must make sure they are not part of it,” he said.
“When Ntungamo District was created in 1993, there were clashes between the Bahima and Bairu (Banyankore tribe sub-groups), fighting for leadership positions and supremacy,” the Deputy Attorney General added.
In the early 1980s, Rwandans who had migrated from neighbouring Rwanda were chased and their property destroyed by native Banyankore.
Speaking at the function, South Ankole Diocese Bishop Nathan Ahimbisibwe urged listeners to use radio for effective development not just entertainment.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor