Kampala, 7th/April/2017; Parliament of Uganda yesterday, 6th April 2017, endorsed government amendments to the Uganda Communications amendment bill 2016, scrapping parliamentary oversight thus designating ministerial powers.
The bill, which now awaits president’s signature to become law, requires Uganda Communications Commission to report to and receive policy directions from the minister of Information and communications Technology without having checks and balances from parliament.
The minister is also responsible for appointing majority of the members on the commission’s Board, has the powers to remove and retain members and has control over the Board’s finances.
Last year government tabled amendments to the Uganda Communication Act, 2013 amending section 93 (1) by repealing the word, “and with the approval of parliament.”
This proposal has since received strong opposition from different groups including Unwanted Witness arguing that the move shall further compromise the independence of UCC.