Jounalists Hunt For Author Of ‘Sack Old Reporters’ Letter

Western youth Member of Parliament Gerald Karuhanga who took government to court over the re-appointment of Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice by president Museveni has welcomed the appointment of Bart Katurebe, case but warned him against compromise.

Addressing journalists at parliament, pharmacy MP Karuhanga said that the president wasted a lot of tax payer’s money and time because so many cases remained pending for almost two years since for lack of leadership.

He said many people had cases and thought they would be handled expeditiously but due to lack of a substantive chief justice, they were not heard and got frustrated.

He urged the newly appointed chief Justice Bart Katurebe not to be used in the upcoming general elections in 2016 but to be a man of integrity once parliament approves him.

“We are aware that President Museveni and his government are fond of compromising officials that would ordinarily be men and women of integrity and credibility; we hope that Bart Katurabe as chief justice will not be compromised especially come the year 2016 that is just around the corner,” Karuhanga said.

He said 2016 is will involve chaos and election malpractices and that people are waiting to see the trust and hope  the entire legal sector,  Judicial Service Commission have put in him  hoping that parliament approves him.

Karuhanga hailed former Justice Professor Wilson Kanyehamba and advocates, for their tireless struggle to see that a new chief justice is appointed.
In August 2013, President Yoweri Museveni reappointed Odoki chief justice when he retired because of old age.

As a result, Karuhanga filed a petition before the constitutional court challenging the re-appointment saying he had exceeded the constitutional 70-year age limit
Journalists under the Uganda Human Rights Network for Journalist (HRNJ) in conjunction with the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda (NCHRDU) have stressed that the Deputy Speaker, treatment Jacob Oulanyah’s verbal nullification of the letter kicking out ‘old reporters’ from Parliament is not to be trusted.


The journalists now want the deputy speaker to immediately issue a written confirmation that the Parliamentary Commission letter was null and void.

“We cannot settle with Oulanyah’s verbal communication yet there is a written official document signed by the clerk of Parliament that has already circulated to the editors; he must put his statement in writing and send to the editors, ask ” Robert Ssempala told journalists at Hotel Triangle.

Ssempala further warned that all was not settled until the Parliament Clerk is tasked to reveal who penned the document that she signed.

Oulanyah yesterday disowned the origin of the letter which sought replacement by editors, of reporters who have worked at Parliament for five years.

“Journalists and members should remain calm. That writing remains a letter not a command and shall carry no effect as far as Parliament is concerned,” Oulanyah noted.

Ssempala however called on parliament to task the clerk of parliament Jane Kibirige who appended her signature to the document to reveal the architects of the controversial document, failure of which she should be held to account for authorizing a false document.

“Should parliament let us down on this issue, we are very determined to take the matters to another level which includes seeking judicial review from courts of law.”

“We know that this is a way of silencing media voices and violating freedom of expression and speech at a time when the country is tending towards critical times where a number of sensitive issues like the budget process, the much anticipated constitutional and electoral reforms and upcoming Bills that will have great impact on the human rights discourse.”


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