NBS’s Solomon Serwanjja wins BBC World News Komla Dumor Award 2019. He becomes the second Ugandan after Nancy Kacungira, to win this award.
The Komla Dumor Award is a journalism award sponsored by the BBC. It is awarded to outstanding individuals living and working in Africa, with strong journalism skills, on-air flair, and an exceptional talent in telling African stories.
In June this year, Serwanja made a documentary uncovering how life-saving drugs meant for the sick have been stolen and sold on illegally, a documetary which led him into trouble with the authorities.
Around February this year, while in the course of shooting this documentary, NBS journalist Solomon Serwanja, his wife Vivian, two BBC journalists, their fixer and driver were briefly arrested on accusation of unlawful possession of Govt property(drugs). His wife Vivian Serwanja is the Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Health which the husband was investigating.
His documentary was initially barred from airing on Ugandan airwaves but it was given airplay on BBC which automatically lendered the Ugandan ban useless.
As a result, one of the health workers; Pharmacist Richard Olaja who was mentioned in the drug selling curtel comitted suicide.
The winner of this award earns a three-months’ development contract at BBC London.