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Clerk to Parliament: Letter Evicting Senior Scribes from House Still Valid

Kibirige reportedly dismissed the letter from UPPA, which she described as a lobby group saying her directive to editors to withdraw journalists who have covered the house for over 5 years still stands.
Jane Kibirige, the clerk to parliament says an earlier directive by the parliamentary commission expel senior journalists from the house still stands.  Kibirige stated her position in a meeting between editors and the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga at parliament this morning.

Rosemary Sseninde, the Wakiso District woman MP and her Northern Uganda PWD representative William Nokrach, both parliamentary commissioners attended the meeting.  According to a source that attended the meeting, Kibirige expressed anger over a letter written by Agnes Nandutu, the president Uganda Parliamentary Press Association-UPPA giving parliament an ultimatum to withdraw the letter or risk being dragged to court.

Kibirige reportedly dismissed the letter from UPPA, which she described as a lobby group saying her directive to editors to withdraw journalists who have covered the house for over 5 years still stands. She asked the editors to respond to the letter.

According to the source, during the meeting Kadaga expressed anger over the conduct of some of the journalists attached to the House and accused them negative reporting and failure to crosscheck facts. She cited the recent vetting of Stephen Kavuma, the deputy chief saying that while several media houses claimed that he was never shortlisted by the Judicial Service Commission, the committee received confirmation from the commission that he had been shortlisted for the job.

Kadaga also reportedly accused some reporters of demanding for money from MPs to run their stories. While some of the editors are said to have given in to the directive but asked for more time to consult, others demanded that the Commission adduces names of particular journalists accused of misbehavior. However, Kadaga and the commissioners declined to do so.   

Kadaga promised that they would go back to the drawing board and discuss the matter further before calling editors for a follow up a meeting. The development is likely to pit Kadaga against her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah. On March 12, 2015, Oulanyah withdrew the letter saying the commission had not discussed the matter.   

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