By Ahura Mujuni Mark
The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom has urged Ugandan authorities to thoroughly investigate the recent murder of a reporter whose body was found on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala.
Thomas Pere was a journalist at the New Vision newspaper, where he reported on social issues, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a news release.
His colleagues reported seeing him last on the evening of 16 June, when he left the offices of the newspaper to return home. His body was found on vacant land a few kilometres outside Kampala the next morning.
“I deplore the murder of Thomas Pere,” said Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO. “Every effort must be made to shed light on his death and bring those responsible to justice.
“The murder of a journalist is a crime against the whole of society; an attempt to choke off democratic debate and muzzle the basic right of freedom of expression,” she stated. “A clear message must be sent to the perpetrators of such crimes that their acts will not go unpunished.”
Mr. Pere is the fourth journalist killed in Uganda since September 2010.