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Best Ugandan infrastructure reporters to be rewarded

KAMPALA, Uganda–Uganda Chapter the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative  a  multi stake Initiative organization advocating for transparency in public infrastructure has launched media warding campaign to award journalist who will be excelling in infrastructure reporting.

The media awards aim at motivating Ugandan journalists to pick interest in following up government infrastructure development projects both from central and local government infrastructure projects.

The revelation was made by the vice chairperson of COST Uganda Chapter,  Enock Nimpamanya during an investigative Journalists training organized by COST Uganda at Essella Hotel in Najera inWakiso District.

Nimpamanya said the media plays a big role in overseeing government infrastructure projects thus the need to reward those who will be excelling in covering the infrastructure sector.

“We want to bring on board the entire stakeholder in the construction industry to play the oversight role that is when we shall eliminate fraud in the sector by bringing on board Journalist who will be in position to follow up government infrastructure projects from initial stages (procuring) to completion,” Nimpamanya said.

The training geared towards equipping investigative Journalist with skills on reporting on infrastructure development was organized by COST Uganda chapter.

Speaking to selective team of Journalists during the training, COST Uganda Chapter chairman Hon. Nathan Byanyima challenged the media to focus more in carrying out investigative reporting in the infrastructure sector because that is where government is investing more resources thus the need for value for money.

“Government contracts such as on roads, dams, schools, hospitals are flawed and characterized by corruption that is not reported in the media as COST Uganda that is where we want the media to support the public by reporting   out such stories.  This will help in the fighting corruption in the construction sector,” said Byanyima.

He told Journalists that COST Uganda has developed   an Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS) which can be used by Journalists in getting information related to government infrastructure.

Byanyima noted that for transparency to occur in the infrastructure sector, procuring entities should be in position to always disclose information related to the projects, such as  Project reference numbers, project owner, project name , project location, its cost , time of project implementation among other information relevant to the general public

Presenting a paper on defining investigative journalism, the CEO of the Uganda Media Center, Ofwono Opondo , encouraged the journalists to always verify the documents and come up with meticulous reports. “You can have the skills but lack the professional credibility and ethics,” he said.