The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has appealed to journalists to avoid attacking individuals in their reporting, but to focus on issues that build the institution.
Kadaga, who was officiating at the swearing of the new leaders of the journalists accredited to cover Parliament, the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA), commended the journalists for their professionalism and extensive coverage of the Legislature.
“Some of you focus on what a politician is wearing and what they are doing with their personal lives instead of focusing on what supports the public,” Kadaga noted.
She said that the UPPA has done an exceptional job in supporting service delivery, accountability and democracy through covering Parliament.
“One cannot forget to acknowledge the significant role you have played in ensuring service delivery and accountability to the public; and for supplementing us in projecting our voices especially in relaying what happens in both the house and the committee sittings,” she said.
Kadaga appealed to the new executive to respect the oaths they were taking and be professional in their line of work.
“An oath is a public responsibility so you need to take it seriously and honour it because you will be held to it. To some people it is just a matter of reciting it without effecting it,” she said.
She further encouraged the journalists to do more educational reporting especially on government programmes and to educate the public about the government initiatives.
Hon. Francis Mwijukye (FDC, Buhweju) thanked the outgoing leadership for the peaceful handover and coverage offered to Parliament.
“We appreciate the function of the media in giving us a mirror image of what exactly we are here for,” he said, adding that, “You keep us connected to our constituencies and the world. I pray that you keep reporting responsibly.”
Following the election, New Vision’s Moses Mulondo takes over as President, and deputised by Rachel Nakassi to serve a three year term.
Mulondo urged colleagues to be supportive in building the reputation of the Association.
“Let us put our brains together through collective efforts and responsibility, in order to take this Association to greater heights. I want us to propel this Association to something that is looked up to,” he said.
Mulondo said that there is need to ensure that as the fourth estate the members of the Association play a role in shaping the future of the country.