By Watchdog reporter

In the past years, Ugandans have been baffled by the sleeping habits of ministers and Members of Parliament during the State of Nation addresses and national budget reading sessions and this kind of behavior used to leave many wondering the kind of legislators we have in the country. To some extent it was fun because you couldn’t hold back laughter when you’re seeing an old man dozing off live on TV.

To prevent Ugandans making  fun of their ‘sleepy’ leaders, Parliament led by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has ordered all media houses not to take photos or record videos of ministers and MPs who by any chance will be sleeping during President Yoweri Museveni’s national address and budget speech.

“As you prepare to cover the State of Nation Address by the President and the reading of the National Budget this week, we would like to draw your attention rules governing electronic coverage of proceedings of Parliament. (See Appendix G, Rule 216 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure). Some sections of the media, have taken it upon themselves to use the occasion of the delivery to Parliament of the State of the Nation Address and the reading of the National Budget to project images that cast Parliament in bad light or to attempt to ridicule or make a mockery of the deliberations by showing unflattering shots/scenes,”

Parliament has also barred any person from using an extract of parliamentary proceedings in any light entertainment show like NTV’s Zungululu, Pointblank or in a programme of political satire.

“ No extracts of Parliamentary proceedings may be used in any light entertainment programme or in a programme of political satire,”

Parliament’s full order;

TELEVISION COVERAGE OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS

As you prepare to cover the State of Nation Address by the President and the reading of the National Budget this week, we would like to draw your attention rules governing electronic coverage of proceedings of Parliament. (See Appendix G, Rule 216 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure)

Some sections of the media, have taken it upon themselves to use the occasion of the delivery to Parliament of the State of the Nation Address and the reading of the National Budget to project images that cast Parliament in bad light or to attempt to ridicule or make a mockery of the deliberations by showing unflattering shots/scenes.

This is to draw your attention to excerpts of Appendix G of the Rules for you to note:

Paragraph 2: Dignity of the House:

In covering the proceedings of the House, the media shall have regard to the dignity of the House and its functions as a Legislature rather than a place of entertainment.

Paragraph 3(4): Restricting filming of certain parts of the Chamber

4.    In no circumstances should close up shots of Members’ or officers’ papers be taken.

Paragraph 6: Disorder in the galleries

1.    Neither interruptions from, nor demonstrations in the galleries are ‘proceedings’, and as such they shall in no circumstances be televised.

2.   If an incident of the sort described in sub paragraph (i) occurs in such a way as to interfere with an otherwise permissible shot, the media shall cut either to a wide-angle shot of the Chamber which does not show the offending incident, or to the Speaker.

Paragraph 8

1.    No extracts of Parliamentary proceedings may be used in any light entertainment programme or in a programme of political satire

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