The National Assembly clerk has claimed  the reason why its restricted reporters from entering into the chamber on Monday to cover the proceedings of the House was to protect both the lawmakers and journalists from contracting coronavirus.

“Aware of the severity of the Covid 19 situation in the country and considering the need to convene this Session in a safe and conducive manner, protecting the health and wellbeing of both Hon. Members, staff and journalists who cover National Assembly proceedings is paramount,” the Office of the Clerk said in a press statement. 

“After due consultations and mindful of the need to convene a safe Session and the citizens right to information, adopted a media strategy that limits the participation of journalists in the Chamber but provides real time information on diverse platforms to enable journalists and other information media to follow the proceedings of this Session and disseminate to their respective audiences.

“In this regard, journalists and media outlets who wish to cover the proceedings of the Assembly are kindly advised to take feeds from the National Assembly’s social media platforms (Facebook page and YouTube channel). Permission is also granted to all journalists and media organizations to use and brand the raw footage streamed on the National Assembly’s media platforms to suit their respective media standards,” the House clerk said.

“Furthermore, the Office of the Clerk has also designated the Auditorium as a Press Centre from where journalists who wish to be within the precincts of the Assembly can monitor the proceedings of the Session and file their news reports. 

Journalists will also be able to conduct safe interviews with Hon. Members at the Press Centre. The strategy is not implemented with a discriminatory intent; it is designed to protect Hon. Members, staff and the journalists themselves from possible exposure to contact.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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