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Parliament TV and Radio in offing

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanya
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanya

The Parliament of Uganda is planning to boost its outreach capacity by establishing a fully fledged media and broadcasting section that will house a Television and Radio stations.

The plan, which envisions having the Radio and TV operation by the end of 2017, Parliamentary sources say, is meant to enhance the independence of the Legislative arm of the government.

The revelation was made by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya during an interaction between Parliamentarians and representatives of the Civil Society as part of events to mark Parliament’s Week.

“Plans are in high gear for Parliament to have our own Television Station and Radio and this will accord members of the public an opportunity to keep track of what we are doing in its entirety,” Oulanya said

But the revelation has not been music to the ears of officials from the Uganda Media Center (UMC).

Denis Katungi, one of the UMC officials, dismissed the proposition as an unnecessary venture and a duplication of duties especially at a time when the country’s coffers are stretched due to an economic downturn.

“This is a needless and expensive venture considering that parliament is enjoying the full services of Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation (UBC) and we are at a time when many Ugandans are already complaining about the administration of such ventures,” Katungi said.

But Parliament’s Principal Communications officer Moses Bwalatum allayed fears that the cost of establishing the radio will not be borne by the Ugandan taxpayer but rather by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Bwalatum told The Sunrise that the project will be instrumental in enhancing the image of the institution as well as improving information flow to the public.

“Hitherto we have been depending on insufficient media coverage of different media houses taking angles they want and some times not in the best interests of the institution’s public image. But these outlets will exclusively cover Parliament by relaying every bit of parliament’s business including committee proceedings all the time,” Bwalatum said.