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Vision Group under probe over closure of regional newspapers

Vision Group under Probe over Closure of Regional Papers

posted onJuly 2, 2020

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has asked Parliamentary Committee on Finance to investigate Vision Group over closure of all their regional newspapers.

This comes after Parliament recently passed a supplementary budget for Coronavirus fight to bail out Vision Group. On Thursday, David Abala (Ngora County) and Lilly Adong (Nwoya Woman MP) tabled a motion, protesting the closure of the local newspapers under Vision Group. The papers are; Etop (Teso Region), Rupiny (Northern Region) and Orumuri (Western Region).

The MPs said that a number of people are now unemployed and readers have been cut off from access to information as a result of closure of these local newspapers.

“This is the time when the local people need to read issues of COVID-19 in their local languages. In these newspapers, the papers were submitting learning material. We are going for the scientific elections and most of the campaign material will be issued through media. People are also wondering why they left Bukedde and all local languages have stopped. The people who were employed by sister newspapers have been kept out of God. Can the Minister explain why the Government company can go ahead to close all local languages?” MP Adong said.

Abala asked Government to fully support the immediate reopening and provide a stimulus package for them. Peter Ogwang, State Minister for ICT informed Parliament that Vision Group, where Government owns 51% shares is managed by the Ministry of Finance under the Privatisation Unit and not the Ministry of ICT.

Speaker Kadaga asked Parliament’s Finance Committee to handle the matter and report to the House in one week.

“The Committee is expected to handle the motion expeditiously taking into account information will be needed in the electoral cycle. We are going to write to the ministry of finance after we have given them money, they have still gone ahead to close these newspapers,” she said.

In May, Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga announced major downsizing and staff salary cuts as a drastic measure to reduce the wage bill in a bid to cope up with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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