Dur­ing the ple­nary sit­ting of the 2nd May 2019 which was chaired by the Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Ja­cob Oulanyah, Hon. Sse­mu­jju Ibrahim raised a con­cern about the di­rec­tive by the Uganda Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (UCC) to sus­pend some jour­nal­ists. Hon. Sse­mu­jju who is the Op­po­si­tion Chief Whip re­layed his dis­con­tent­ment with the di­rec­tive by UCC to some me­dia houses (giv­ing an ex­am­ple of NBS Tele­vi­sion) to sus­pend some mem­bers of their team on grounds that the na­ture of con­tent aired dur­ing live pro­grammes, break­ing news and main news bul­letins does not com­ply with min­i­mum broad­cast­ing stan­dards.

This was fol­low­ing the let­ter by the UCC on 30th April 2019 ad­dressed to the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of NBS TV on the sub­ject “ re­peated breach of the min­i­mum broad­cast­ing stan­dards.” He noted that it is a vi­o­la­tion of free­dom of the press and re­minded the mem­bers that this was hap­pen­ing when the World Press Free­dom Day (3rd May) was ap­proach­ing. He called upon Gov­ern­ment to pro­tect press free­doms.

In ad­di­tion, Hon. Mwi­jukye Fran­cis raised a con­cern that some mem­bers of the Fo­rum for De­mo­c­ra­tic Change (FDC) in­clud­ing Dr. Ki­iza Be­si­gye were stopped by the se­cu­rity per­son­nel from speak­ing to peo­ple of Hoima on a ra­dio sta­tion even af­ter they had paid Uganda  Shillings 1Mil­lion for air­time. He ob­served that the mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion have been stopped from ex­press­ing their views on me­dia.

Hon. Dr. Chris Bary­omunsi, how­ever, in­formed the mem­bers that UCC was ex­e­cut­ing its man­date of reg­u­lat­ing the broad­casts. He said that it is wrong to ac­cuse UCC be­cause it was ex­e­cut­ing its man­date and ad­vised the dis­sat­is­fied par­ties to take the mat­ters to Court. This gen­er­ated ‘a hot dis­cus­sion’ and Hon. Chris pledged to no­tify the Min­is­ter for In­for­ma­tion, who was not pre­sent, to give a state­ment on the same next week.