Amnesty International has called on the Uganda government to stop threatening media outlets over their live coverage of events related to proposed removal of the presidential age limits.
This comes after Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) today issued a directive warning of dire consequences for broadcast stations, both radio and television, that relay live feeds from Parliament where the issue is under debate.
Television stations have been relaying chaotic scenes from parliament as opposition MPs push to block the Raphael Magyezi motion seeking leave to table a constitution amendment bill to remove presidential age limits.
After the live coverage on Thursday last week and yesterday, Tuesday, with Parliament sessions ending abruptly amidst chaos on both occasions, UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi warned that such coverage violated Section 31 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013 and schedule 4 to the same law. Schedule 4 relates to the Minimum Broadcasting Standards.
As a result, today’s Parliament session was not relayed live. During the session Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspended 24 MPs, including a minister for their role in yesterday’s chaos.
Those suspended include Allan Sewanyana, Monica Amoding, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, Betty Nambooze, Mohammad Nsereko, Mubarak Munyagwa, Dr Sam Lyomoki, Barnabas Tinkasimire, Francis Zaake, Gilbert Olanya, Ojur Jonathan, Moses Kasibante, Ibrahim Kasozi, Angelline Osegge and William Nzoghu.
Others are Roland Mugume, Muwanga Kivumbi, Wilfred Niwagaba, Joseph Sewungu, Mbwatekamwa Gaffa and John Baptist Nambetsye.