Court Sets Jan 14 As Date To Give Ruling On Media Council’s Directives Against Journalists

Court Sets Jan 14 As Date To Give Ruling On Media Council’s Directives Against Journalists

Accessdome.com: an accessible web community
Accessdome.com: an accessible web community

By Andrew Irumba

Kampala: The High Court in Kampala has set 14 January 2021, which is the gazetted national polling day, to deliver a ruling in a case filed by a section of journalists under their umbrella organization “Editors Guild Uganda” challenging the Media Council directives of accrediting journalists who intend to cover 2021 elections and other state events.

READ ALSO: “Stop Protecting Museveni While Violating Journalists’ Rights”-Human Rights Activists Blast Media Council

According to Justice Esther Nambayo, the ruling will be given via e-mail in which both national and foreign journalists will know their fate regarding coverage of the presidential and parliamentary elections which will be held on that same day.

READ ALSO: High Court Judge Sets Date To Hear Editors’ Guild Case Against Gov’t, Media Council

It all started last month when the Editors’ Guild Uganda and Centre for Public Interest Law dragged the government’s Attorney General to Court challenging the directive by the Uganda Media Council to have all journalists who are going to cover this year’s National Elections accredited by December 31st 2020.

READ ALSO: You’re Too Partisan In Your Policing-International Journalists Body Castigates Uganda Media Council

As a result, the Editors filed an application maintaining that the directive by the council is illegal because;

1-It was issued by a council that itself lacks a quorum, it’s not fully constituted as per the law.

2-It’s National Institute for Journalists Uganda (NIJU) mandated to give such directives and its now non-existent. The council has appointed itself to carry out a duty that doesn’t belong to it.

3-The timing and the spirit if the directives are suspicious.

4-That even if the council was to accredit journalists, they can’t do it within the short period they gave, given the fact that they’re too understaffed.

Therefore the applicants want a Judicial review and an order to quash the directives of the media council of Uganda issued relating to the same.

READ ALSO: Stop Staggering On Us: Editors’ Guild Drags Govt, Media Council To Court Over Dubious Journalists Accreditation Orders

In addition, they want Court to order prohibition and permanent injunction restraining the respondent’s security agencies from implementing the illegal, irregular, and irrational directives of the media council.

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