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Albert Dwumfuor, the president of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), has called for an immediate and comprehensive media blackout on Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Member of Parliament for the Awutu Senya East constituency and Minister for fisheries.

This call comes in response to the recent attack on Cape Coast-based morning show host David Kobina on January 4, 2024.

The regrettable assault on the journalist took place on January 4, 2024, leading to broad condemnation. The assailants alleged that the victim had insulted Hawa Koomson on a TV show, a charge the journalist refuted. He clarified his role as a morning show host on a radio station and presented his ID card as evidence. Despite the victim’s efforts to prove his innocence, the attackers proceeded to assault him, even in the presence of a police officer who was the first to confront the victim.

However, During a press conference by the GJA, partnered with international stakeholders and attended by senior journalists on January 25, 2025, at the Ghana International Press Centre, Dwumfour addressed the press on the matter of a press CONFAB regarding the safety of journalists and provided updates on the attack on Cape FM journalist David Kobina.

Dwumfour declared that all media outlets should observe a total media blackout on Mavis Hawa Koomson, refraining from any coverage of her activities in her capacity as an MP, minister, or any other public position she holds. He clarified that the concern lies not with the MP herself but with individuals around her who may pose a serious threat to the lives of journalists.

Expressing the GJA’s apprehension, Dwumfour urged the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the national and regional levels to identify and appropriately sanction the individuals responsible for assaulting journalist David Kobina.

The GJA president mentioned that they might reconsider their stance against the MP if there is evidence of actions taken by the NPP and the Ghana Police Service to identify and prosecute the assailants.

“We are following this case with key interest and we shall periodically review it and update the general public”

Dwumfour called on all media houses to support the collective interest in ensuring the safety of journalists. In his closing remarks, he also urged the NPP to treat journalists covering the upcoming primaries on Saturday, January 27, 2024, with respect and caution.

Meanwhile, Hawa Koomson refuted claims of her involvement in the assault on the innocent journalist. She described reports linking the incident to her as false and a deliberate attempt by her opponents to hurt her integrity to score political points.

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In other news, A Ugandan government minister is facing criticism after calling those who have died of hunger in his country “idiots”. Many have deemed Henry Okello Oryem’s comments tone-deaf.

In 2022, more than 2,200 people died of starvation and related illnesses in north-east Uganda, a report by an official human rights body said.

But Mr Oryem argued that given Uganda’s favourable climate and fertile land, people should be able to grow food for themselves.

“It’s only an idiot, a real idiot, that can die of hunger in Uganda,” the state minister for foreign affairs told the NTV Uganda television channel.

“If you work hard, there is land in Uganda. The climate is right in spite [of] climate change. If you make a double effort to make sure that you go out in the morning, you till your land, you plant the seeds, you maintain your plantation, surely, how do you fail then to get food?”

As well as killing many people, the food shortage in the north-east left nearly half-a-million people in “acute hunger”, said the report by the Uganda Human Rights Commission, which was established by the constitution.

The minister’s comments have sparked outrage.

Moses Aleper, a legislator for Chekwii county, which is part of the affected Karamoja region, told the BBC that Mr Oryem’s views were “not right” and “unfortunate coming from a minister who knows what goes on in this country”.

“I’m from one of the most productive parts of Karamoja where there is adequate rain and we produce food. But in situations where weather fails us, the weather vagaries set in, we definitely fail to get food. And normally people definitely get famine and eventually hunger strikes.”

Mr Aleper also said that hunger in the region is often caused by “other issues beyond even human control”, such as the way that the climate is changing.

Prominent Ugandan author and journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo also hit out at Mr Oryem, saying that the minister failed to grasp “that hunger in a country like Uganda is a distribution/market problem”.

Official data on the current food situation in Karamoja is unavailable, but it often experiences hunger during dry seasons due to the region’s semi-arid climatic conditions.

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