The Speaker of Parliament, Rebeca Kadaga has lashed out at the Uganda Communications Commission for suppressing media freedoms.
UCC in an April 30 communication ordered 13 media houses to suspend 39 news managers, producers and heads of production as investigations into what they termed as violation of minimum broadcast standards go on.
Speaking during a meeting with members of the Uganda Parliament Press Association (UPPA), on Thursday, Kadaga said it was appalling for UCC to continue curtailing journalists’ rights.
“Since enactment of the requisite law, several years ago, UCC had absconded from this obligation and turned itself into a prosecutor, jury and judge — the culmination of which is the recent suspension of journalists in 12 media houses,”Kadaga said.
During the interface, the journalists told Kadaga that under the law, UCC is duty bound to appoint a 12 man tribunal hear cases relating to misuse of media platforms but noted this has not been done.
Kadaga said she would take up the issues to the relevant organs and also work towards finding a lasting solution to them.
The speaker however asked media practitioners to always act professional while carrying out their duties.
In their April 30 communication, UCC ordered a number of media houses including; NBS TV, NTV, Salt TV, BBS TV, Bukedde TV, Kingdom TV, Capital FM, CBS FM, Simba FM, Pearl FM, Akaboozi FM, Beat FM, and Sapientia FM, to suspend their producers, head of news and head of programs or else they risk sanctions prompting NAB to write back to them asking for a reversal of the orders.
Journalists under their umbrella body, Uganda Journalists Association recently dragged UCC to court over the orders.
The High Court on Thursday ordered media houses to refrain from discussing the case until it is disposed of.