Members of Parliament have made a U-turn and allowed journalists covering proceedings of the legislature to access the chambers and gallery with electronic gadgets used in their work.
The decision which followed intensive lobbying by the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA) and threats of a blackout, was this time round overwhelmingly supported by all MPs.
Raphael Magyezi (NRM) moved that Parliament recommits itself as a committee of the whole House and rescinds its earlier decision to bar journalists allowed to access Parliament from using electronic devices in the chambers and gallery.
Magyezi, the Igara West MP explained that the British House of Commons lifted the ban on electronic gadgets in October 2010 and the Ugandan Parliament too needed to be abreast with global standards.
"It is common knowledge that Uganda Broadcasting Corporation covers our proceedings live and allowing more media houses to do live coverage will enable our voters right to know. As ninth Parliament, we have been known for transparency," Magyezi explained.
Journalists have in the past been barred from the chambers and not allowed to carry laptops, note-pads, recorders, still or video cameras into the gallery from where they listen to the proceedings. The press corps deposit their mobile phones at the reception before they access the parliament chambers.