Having held rallies in Jinja and Iganga successfully, FDC flag bearer and presidential aspirant Dr. KizzaBesigye was yesterday scheduled to have a talk show on Baba FM, local radio station in Jinja town.
However, hardly ten minutes into the show, security agents stormed the station and ordered that program could not take place. Consequently the radio station’s transmitter was switched off on claims that they had ‘orders from above’ to close the radio station.
This act by the authorities to try and deny opposition aspirants access to the media to have their messages communicated to the public,is uncalled for.
The media is charged with the responsibility of disseminating messages to its audiences. Without the media people are not able to know what is happening around them and beyond. Therefore to block opposition aspirants’ access to the media is to deny the masses chance to receive their messages. In any case the government should blame the message but not the messenger.
Not only does this violate the right to freedom speech and violation but it also creates an unfair ground for competition. It is unfair for some political actors to be moving around communicating to the electorate through the media while others are being blocked.
Therefore much as the Uganda Communication Commission is mandated to regulate the activities of radio stations through the Electronic Media Act, it should not be done in violation of the law.
The functions of the UCC should be in conformity with provisions of the law and should not be applied selectively. Otherwise, it makes the Commission appear like it is acting with partiality which undermines its credibility.