President Museveni moves to gag media (Uganda)

By Staff | The Citizen, Tanzania December 20, 2016

President Museveni is on Friday reported to have spoken angrily about media coverage of Kasese killings and the raging tensions in the Rwenzori sub-region and directed the Information minister to prepare “stringent amendments” to existing media laws.

Sources that attended the NRM Caucus meeting at State House Entebbe indicated that Mr Museveni they described as “livid” was in particularly foul mood about what he called “bad reporting that triggers panic” and ordered the Information minister, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, to prepare amendments to existing media laws to be urgently handled when Parliament resumes from the Christmas recess in February 2017.

Mr Museveni’s proposal to enact stringent laws to muzzle the media is said to have been strongly cheered on by NRM lawmakers who have been angry with coverage of their push for tax exemptions and what civil society activists have called “titanic expenses”. The MPs have also argued that coverage of Parliament is negative.

Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Discipline and Privileges is expected to table a report about an investigation ordered by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga into media coverage of MPs and the House.

Mr Museveni is quoted to have told the MPs that the media is “creating a lot of havoc in the public”, arguing that there is need to tighten control on media freedoms.

Yesterday, NRM Caucus vice chairman Solomon Silwany, who chaired Friday’s session, confirmed that the President complained of “false reporting” and directed that the NRM Caucus convenes in January to draft proposed amendments to handle the media.

Mr Silwany said the President did not pin-point particular scenarios where the media has reported falsely but was rather furious with “wrong reporting generally”. (NMG)

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