Eng. Mutabazi

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have resolved that 39 journalists should step aside for 30 days to allow the Commission conduct its investigations in regard to alleged breaching of minimum broadcasting standards.

Early this month, UCC directed for suspension of Producers, head of news and head of programmes in various broadcasting stations; Akaboozi FM, BBS TV, Beat FM, Bukedde TV, Capital FM, CBS FM, Kingdom TV, NBS TV, NTV, Pearl FM, Salt TV, Sapientia FM and Simba FM.

According to Executive Director of UCC, Godfrey Mutabazi, investigations will reveal whether the contested journalist acted below broadcasting standards.

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“We don’t care whether journalists are put in other position as long as they step aside from the current position to allow for investigations to take place,” he said after the meeting.

“The commission has previously engaged and warned broadcasters over similar complaints, but it is now apparent that they have refused and or ignored these warnings.”

He said media houses Misrepresents information, views, facts and events in a manner likely to mislead or cause alarm to the public and extremist or anarchic messages, including incitement of violence for political and/or other purposes.

He said air programs that Incites the public against other members of the public based on their political, religious, cultural and tribal affiliations which are likely to create public insecurity or violence.

He implored them to air documentaries and other developmental programs other than hate speeches of opposition leaders in the country.

The concern of Ugandan government is the manner in which independent Television channels and radio stations cover live news in which opposition politicians or people with divergent views are given undue prominence.

The 39 journalists are accused of airing live videos and sound bites as police arrested Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine on April 29, at Kalerwe market as he proceeded to Kibuli Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) where he was summoned over allegations of breaching of police guidelines and traffic rules.