The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has urged journalists to refrain from writing stories on issues that Parliament has not made final decision in the House.
She made the appeal in a meeting today with some members of the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA).
Kadaga noted that unlike in some places and countries where editors and political leaders communicate prior to publication of stories, the Parliamentary Commission has noted that the media do stories that “surprise ” and some “pre-empt parliament’s decisions.”
She prefers that editors and parliament should work as partners and call her before some stories are run. Kadaga did not reveal any such stories. However, her statement comes days after media reports that salaries of MPs have been increased by 39 percent in the 2019/2020 budget and also the latest where it is reported that parliament has contracted MTN Uganda to pay OTT tax and buy internet data for MPs.
Kadaga noted that it is ironic that UCC issued directives to 13 media houses ahead of the World Press Freedom Day. She added that she will not tire of speaking against excesses of institutions and actions of the state.
She has now assured the association that she will write to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on appointing the Media tribunal for Uganda Communications Commission. The Speaker noted that the tribunal must be set up to check the excesses of UCC and also as a dispute resolution mechanism.
This is after the UPPA President Moses Mulondo told her that a tribunal has never been set up and yet the UCC ACT, 2012 gives it powers to handle complaints and also resolve disputes. He says that in the absence of the tribunal, UCC continues to act as the investigator, prosecutor and judge in cases against journalists and media houses