A fresh row between Parliament and journalists accredited to cover the institution has drawn the attention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Yesterday the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga ordered Parliament’s committee on rules and privilege to investigate journalists who wrote what she considers damning stories against the institution.
The Speaker also threatened to drag sections of media outlets to court for alleged defamation and contempt of parliament.
Kadaga was reacting to a story published by Daily Monitor indicating that parliament intends to spend Sh200 million for every MP’s car and Sh68 million allocated for each MP’s funeral expenses.
Parliamentary authorities are also under fire to answer queries of conflict of interest after a deal to host an Inter-Parliamentary Union conference was awarded to a hotel owned by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.
However, in an interview with KFM, the director for freedom of expression and media development at UNESCO, Mr. Guy Berger says such threats on journalists are a clear sign of breakdown of rule of law and must stop.
“When society realises there is no justice for journalists they know that the rule of law is weak and they themselves are not being protected. For example journalist who expose corruption or environmental issues”, Mr Berger tells KFM.
He adds that journourlists must be protected and allowed to do their job and freely inform society.
Story By Catherine Ageno