Monday September 1 2014

Kadaga, Oulanyah hit at journalists- "Grow up"


By Our Reporter

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah have not had the best of times with journalists.
Last week was not particularly a good one for journalist, Charles Odongtho.

During a Speaker’s press conference came under fire when he accused Parliament of being cagey with information about MPs’ payments.

He launched into a speech, telling Ms Rebecca Kadaga how two years ago he got documents showing that although the Constituency Development Fund had been scrapped but that the Parliamentary Commission continued to pay the money as part of the allowances the MPs get.

Before he could finish his submission, the Speaker cut him off: “What did you do when you got those so-called documents? Did you come to my office for a clarification? You should grow up. Grow up,” she admonished.

The Speaker has not been in a very charitable mood in the past few days. She has taken the view that journalists are harbouring a plan to bring the institution she heads into disrepute by constantly churning out what she termed as “negative stories.” The good lady accused journalists of being in cahoots with certain politicians, who she did not name, who are fighting political wars in the media.

After the press conference, she later met a group of news editors together with the Leader of the Opposition Wafula Oguttu.

Mr Oulanyah has not had the best of times with journalists. Some say it may be because of the way he conducts himself before them, while others put it down to his feeling that they always write negative stories about him.

And so when he got the opportunity to have his word in last week, Mr Oulanyah told a media dialogue in the Parliamentary Conference Hall, that journalists focus on what he referred to as trivial issues instead of being agenda setters.

Looking pained, Mr Oulanyah recounted how he attended and as he was trying to remove his stockings, one photo journalist set his camera targeting him in anticipation that his stockings had holes.

“The journalist was very disappointed that my stockings did not have holes. Focus on important issues and not trivial ones,” he said adding that the journalists abandoned issues in the budget and instead focused on sleeping MPs.

He accused Daily Monitor and New vision publications of carrying tabloid stories.