Editors of Ugandan daily newspapers including; Daily Monitor, The Observer, Red Pepper and a media agency Uganda Radio Network have defied summons to appear before MPs over “unbalanced coverage of Parliament”.
Only the state-run New Vision sent representatives in response to summons issued by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga last month.
It was Barbara Kaija, the editor-in-chief of New Vision and John Kakande, a news editor, who appeared before the parliament’s rules, privileges and discipline committee that charged them with contempt of parliament.
Kadaga accuses media houses of tarnishing the parliament’s reputation after reports that MPs were selfishly pushing for money to buy cars and that they had spent Shs2bn on a trip to US.
The trip which Kadaga herself participated in with her deputy Jacob Oulanyah, saw about 78 MPs travel abroad as reported by URN, Observer and Red Pepper.
The New Vision on the other hand reported about “Parliament going into meltdown” because of both speakers travelling to the UNAA convention in Boston, USA.
While New Vision editors defended themselves, James Tumusiime, The Observer managing editor rejected a move by MPs to subject the paper’s editorial to scrutiny by Parliament.
Wilson Kaija, the URN editor-in-chief and Red Peeper news editor Richard Kintu say they have not received the summons yet.