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Ugandan Lawmakers Want to Clear House in the Parliamentary Press Corps

The main entrance to the Ugandan Parliament. Photo releases under Creative Commons by Andrew Regan.

The main entrance to the Ugandan Parliament. Photo releases under Creative Commons by Andrew Regan.

Ugandan lawmakers are considering a proposal that would replace all journalists who started covering parliamentary proceedings before May 1, 2010, “in the interest of balanced media coverage”.

Grace Natabaalo, a renown Ugandan journalist, shared the full letter on Twitter:

The move, which will replace senior journalists with extensive experience in legislative politics, has shocked many Ugandans.

Bernard Tabaire called the order “silly”:

Others, like Kemigisa Jacky, a social media enthusiast, considered it to be an abuse of power:

Many people are demanding answers. Morrison Rwakakamba, a public policy analyst and the CEO at Agency for Transformation, asked:

Dan Mumbere, a host at Urban TV, tweeted:

Grace Natabaalo suggested that the parliament should  clean its own house, instead:

A Parliamentary report released last year showed that many MPs “attended less than 10 meetings out of an expected average of at least 60 sittings held for both sessional and standing committees over a seven month period”.

Following the public outcry, Ugandan Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah clarified the matter, saying the letter was intended to invite editors from various media houses to discuss what is only a proposal by the Parliamentary Commission.

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