The Uganda Communications Commission has closed Radio Kitara in Masindi ahead of today’s planned live coverage of the Masindi District Council, which allegedly wants to pass a resolution not to amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution.
Annet Najemba, the programs director at Radio Kitara, said she received a call from a one Medi Kagwa, who said he was a UCC official, telling her the Commission switched off the radio due to ‘some technical issues’.
“The relay of the district council meeting was halted due to the switched off station. We may not relay the council meeting because we need prior preparation; our earlier preparation has been affected by UCC,” Ms. Najjemba said.
She emphasized that switching off the radio station without prior notice had greatly affected their listeners and advertisers, a development which will compel the station to refund money to their clients.
She however, said the management of the station is sorting out ‘technical issues with UCC and immediately they are done, the station will be on air’.
Of recent the UCC has taken to shutting down media outlets it deems might air programmes that are contrary to government’s position regarding the age limit removal, attracting blame from some quarters including the US embassy.
On October 21, UCC shut down a private radio station, Kanungu Broadcasting Services Ltd. (KBS) on allegations it had breached the ‘minimum broadcasting standards’.
The KBS Radio Director, Mr. Charles Byaruhanga at the time said UCC give them the exact reason for the closure.
Also, two weeks ago, UCC banned live coverage of events in Parliament after MPs engaged in fistfights that ended up with the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspending 25 legislators including State Minister for Water Resources Ronald Kibuule, who allegedly sneaked a gun into the parliamentary chambers.