Journalists’ Access to Parliament Restricted
Parliament has announced stringent measures that restrict easy access to the legislature by journalists over the next one month.
This is part of a robust plan being implemented to minimize the risks of spreading the coronavirus pandemic.
In a communication to Journalists who cover Parliament, Moses Bwalatum a public affairs officer at Parliament indicated that the new guidelines are intended to decongest Parliament with the hope of preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Bwalatum said that the Directorate of Public Affairs (CPA) trimmed the numbers of journalists that cover Parliament in consultation with their respective editors.
“Media houses allotted four reporters should ensure that they shouldn’t have more than two reporters at Parliament at any given time. Please note that journalists accessing Parliament must have and wear press tags at all times,” Bwalatum stated.
He said that the Department of Communications and Public Affairs is at hand to facilitate all information requests/needs should journalists need any at this period.
Several journalists have raised concerns that they have been left out. Many will, however, cover plenary on a live broadcast on Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC).
On Thursday, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga issued guidelines which among others limit suspend all tours to Parliament over the next 30 days.
“The Parliament gym shall remain closed for the next 30 days, we are limiting the number of persons interfacing with Committees of Parliament to four, that is, the Minister, Permanent Secretary, and two officials,” Kadaga told Parliament.
She also announced the suspension of all interns, MPs’ assistants and staff of the various Parliamentary fora as well as the scaling down on Parliament’s none critical staff who were advised to work from home.