Jehoshaphat Jones Opong, a staff at UBC Radio Moroto took advantage of the press conference organized by Museveni on the operation wealth creation programme at Morulinga State Lodge in June to expose the sorry state of affairs at the station.
He told the president that the government radio was unreliable; operating only twice a month and in a very sorrow state. Commissioned by the president himself in 2015, the radio operates from a small container that can easily pass off as a backyard store or toilet. The container even became a point of online mockery for Zimbabweans when Uganda faced Zimbabwe in the recent African Cup of Nations in Egypt. The radio's compound is littered with cow dung since it shares a fence with a neighbouring kraal.
UBC Radio, also known as Totore has been relying mainly on electricity - rendering it inaccessible during power outages. However, URN has learnt that the top UBC management in Kampala has taken interest in the radio, causing a number of changes.
The changes started with procurement of 300 litres of diesel for the generator at the radio, just a week after Museveni’s press conference. It was followed by several visits by officials from UBC in Kampala.
Last week, a delegation of 12 officials led by the UBC board chairperson, James Rwehabura, UBC managing director, Watson Agaba and chief engineer, Michael Agaba visited the facility on a fact-finding mission.
In her brief to the team, Anne Maria Lokwii, the station manager UBC Moroto, said that much as the radio is better placed in the area, its operations are frustrating both the listeners and the staff due to its unreliability. She also noted that most staff have suffered radiation effects since the studio sits next to the transmitter.
During his interaction, Rwehabura said the studio will be moved from its current location in Singila to the former Karamoja Development Agency area in the shortest time possible. He also promised to improve the welfare of staff and boost the radio coverage and quality for the listeners.
One of the staff at the station said on condition of anonymity that remuneration has improved at the radio with salaries now paid by 28th of each month. He said the momentum and motivation for work have been renewed through engagements with top officials, whom he noted, never visited the station in the past.