DEFIANCE RELOADED: Editors Snub ‘Kadaga Summons’ Again
By Alex Masereka
Editors of privately owned newspapers in Uganda have once again subbed parliament summons to explain their alleged negative reporting about the legislature.
The editors of The Red Pepper, Observer, and Uganda Radio Network were supposed to appear before a committee on rules, privileges and discipline to explain what MPs term as “unbalanced reporting” about the legislature.
However, in a show of defiance, the members of the fourth estate did not show up on Tuesday.
It is not the first time the editors are snubbing parliamentary summons.
The summonses were prompted by complaints from Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and other MPs, which spilled onto the floor of parliament during a heated plenary session on September 15.
The legislators were irked by media coverage about their perks, notably the Shs 150m car grant, the Shs 68m burial expenses per MP, and the trips to the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) convention in Boston.
During the session, Kadaga proposed that errant editors be summoned before parliament’s committee on rules, privileges and discipline. Within the committee, there has been debate as to whether the members have the mandate to summon editors given that their core duty relates to fellow MPs.