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Sunday, 15, June in the studios of Isango star journalists debated about the forthcoming elections of the leading commitee of ARJ ( Association Rwandaise des Journalistes). The journalists invited into debate urged the association to more collaborative with them and bear tangible results.

Jane Uwimana/Photo Net
Jane Uwimana/Photo Net

The invited guests included Rwabuneza Anastase, Gonzagua Umuganwa, Ildephonse Sinabubariraga and Jane Uwimana( the later one representing the ARJ).
The show presenters were Solange Ayanone and Fred Muvunyi.

Gonzagua Umuganwa started by reminding the attendants that historical background of the association, which was created in 1995 after the Genocide. He said that the association aimed at setting up the code of conduct so to regulate the profession after the genocide.

The aim was to bring journalists together and create a legal framework upon which the professionals were bound to work as the country was enduring the fresh post genocide consequences, Muganwa said.

Gonzagua said the idea to elect the new committee was raised by journalists themselves, something that he finds democratic as this initiative has never been taken before by the preceding executive committees.

Anastase Rwabuneza
Anastase Rwabuneza

Rwabuneza at his side said that the productivity of the committee to be elected will be the most important factor to judge its  fairness and transparency.

He criticize the fact  that many journalists do not have the new RMC(Rwanda Media Commission) press card.

Since  I became the ARJ member, I have never read the a clearly written ARJ interna regulation document, Rwabuneza said.

For me, attending or not attending an ARJ general meeting, I don’t feel guilty nor embarrassed, he said.

Ildephonse Sinabubariraga backed Rwabuneza and revealed that the ARJ is a an association that claims to involve all journalists even the ones who  don’t know its existence.

It is as if even  journalist joins ARJ without knowing its role nor its existence, Ildephonse said. He called upon the ARJ to more  inclusive to regard to journalists’ participation.

For ARJ to be productive and fair, it is required to involve and engage more journalists in its activities, Ildephonse said.

Uwimana Jane explained that the ARJ is an inclusive association for each journalist willing to join it.

It is an open institution that has an internal regulation code and principles, she said.

Jane said that the ARJ , in collaboration with the RMC has issued a press card that every journalist should wear.

To this, Rwabuneza said that the challenge is that few journalists have the card. For him, owning the RMC press card should not be a crucial factor in the voting during the coming elections as few journalists do have it currently.

Uwimana Jane told her fell journalists that ARJ will conduct a wide range  mobilization to journalists as to engage them to vote in the forthcoming elections.

However, Rwabuneza finds this mobilization likely to be less effective as it might be carried out in a rush-to-rush situation before the elections take place.

This might be carried out seriously and carefully, Rwabuneza urged.

Jane Uwimana recognized some technical and logistical shortcomings in the ARJ operations but affirmed that more will be done bear positive results in the coming terms.

Listeners expressed their willingness to see ARJ more inclusive, transparent and productive.

This weekly show aims at increasing  debating skills among Rwandans about issues of great interest from both Rwanda and at international scenes.