Editors a no-show again at Parliament
For a second time in a row, three media houses have declined to honor summons to appear before Parliament’s committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline
The summons, sent to the editors of Red Pepper newspaper; Observer, a tri-weekly newspaper and Uganda Radio Network, a news agency, to appear on October 18th 2016 stem from concerns by Members of Parliament on what they termed as negative stories, deemed to be sensational and unbalanced, and placing Parliament’s image in disrepute.
Only the Editor in chief of Vision Group, Barbara Kaija, accompanied by the editor in chief New Vision, John Kakande and Tony Kirabira, the company’s legal officer appeared before the committee in the first meeting.
Some of the editors of the publications, including Red Pepper, said they had not received fresh summons from Parliament, hence not appearing before the committee.
However, the Observer newspaper and Uganda Radio Network insist that the committee does not have jurisdiction to summon media houses before them.
The committee however insists that it has powers to summon any member of the public to get information from them on pertinent matters. He said the committee will not give up and will ask the editors to appear again on October 27th 2016 to give their explanations on what they term as bad press against the Institution.
Some of the stories under scrutiny include reports that Parliament spent about 2 billion shillings on over 70 MPs for the UNAA convention in the United States of America.
Also questioned is a story published by Kamunye, a sister paper of the Red Pepper, in which pictures of MPs depicted as pigs was published, while the Observer’s story on Parliament shutting down due to the UNAA convention also prompted the summons from the committee.