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Bobi Wine: UCC report finds NTV, NBS 'guilty'

The Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) has found five Kampala based broadcasters culpable of breaching minimum broadcasting standards and asked them to show cause why their licenses shouldn’t be revoked. The broadcasters include NTV, NBS, BBS, Bukedde TV and Radio Sapientia. 

This follows an investigation into the alleged breach of minimum broadcasting standards by six TV stations and seven radio stations, whose content allegedly contradicted minimum broadcasting standards enshrined in Section 31 and Schedule 4 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013.

The affected stations included NBS TV, BBS TV, NTV, Bukedde TV, Kingdom TV and Salt TV, Radio Two-also known as Akaboozi FM, Beat FM, Capital FM, Pearl FM, Sapientia FM and Radio Simba.  

UCC argued that the stations breached standards through their live coverage of events that surrounded the arrest of Kyadondo East member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, in April and May 2019. The commission argued that the broadcasts contained a misrepresentation of information, views, facts and events in a manner that was likely to mislead or cause alarm to the public.  

UCC equally accused the media houses of airing programmes that have extremist or anarchic messages and inciting 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.

The affected stations were asked to have their producers, editors and heads of programs step aside to protect the public against the risk of further breach of the law and standards, and to ensure smooth investigations.  

From the report’s findings, most of the broadcasters investigated were found to have been in breach of various laws, standards and license terms and conditions and non-compliance with the Press and Journalists Act. The broadcasters were also faulted for having no sufficient safeguards in their editorial policies to address conflict of interest of staff.  

The report now recommends that Radio Sapientia, Bukedde TV, NTV, NBS TV and BBS are given the notice to show cause why their licenses should not be revoked having been found culpable for contravening minimum broadcasting standards. The 52-page report also recommended that the said stations train their news reporters, producers and editors in professional reporting, emphasizing key provisions of the law and the standards.  

NBS and NTV, in particular, have been asked to demonstrate that they have adequate measures in place “to ensure that news reporters, anchors, producers and editors remain impartial and non-partisan in the course of their work.”

It further recommended that Salt TV, Capital FM, CBS and Radio Simba be cautioned. The report recommends the suspension of “The Inside Story”, a programme on Pearl FM, which, according to the investigators was singled out for not being well structured, yet its host does not seem to have credible sources for the information upon which the show is based.  

The report says that if the show is not redefined and adequate controls put in place, it is likely to alarm the public and become a platform for fueling political propaganda, which can result in violence. It recommends that the programme be immediately suspended until Pearl FM can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that it has instituted adequate measures to improve it.  

However, the investigators established that Kingdom TV had no news bulletin on the said date, although the report put the station on the spot for failing to notify UCC about changes in its programming.  

“The allegations against Kingdom TV were not backed by adequate evidence to warrant further investigation,” the report says. However, the station was reminded that under the terms and conditions of its license, they ought to notify the Commission of any significant changes in their programming.  

Although there was no evidence of breach against Radio Two Akaboozi and Beat FM, the stations were faulted for failing to install pre-listening and delay devices and contravening the Press and Journalists Act. However, the report recommends no action against the two radio stations.  

The report clarifies that the directive to order individual producers, editors, and heads of news to step aside to was an administrative measure backed by relevant laws.  

“The directive was never intended to stifle any particular person’s right. This was a purely administrative measure… deemed necessary for purposes of protecting the public against the potential continued risk of harmful content produced, edited and presented to the public by the same individuals that were subject of the investigations,” the report says.  



0 #1 kabayekka 2019-10-08 08:27
This is another dodgy commission that wants to prove to the public that it cares very much about the well being of the adult public.

It feels that it is the Messiah or the Alpha and Omega in international African broadcasting.

This is a commission that feels that the public of Uganda are people of Rwanda origin who are going to wake up tomorrow and start hacking to death every Tom and Harry and therefore by law this commission must arrest this sort of African civil strife.
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+3 #2 Kelly 2019-10-08 08:42
Of course it would have been very stupid of UCC if it didn’t find the accused media outlets “guilty”. How do I accuse, investigate and judge you and find you innocent? That would be lunacy!!

Anyway, back to Mutabazi, just as a reminder there were more powerful-all-conquering directors of broadcasting before you during Amin’s and Obote’s regimes.

By an order from Nakasero they could cause the arrest of a journalist and incarcerate him/her as an act of entertainment.

Fast forward, by 1988, many of them had abandoned their posh residences in Kololo, Nakasero and Bugolobi for the squalid dangeons of Lusaka (Zambia) and Jedda (Saudi Arabia).
Time of reckoning is at hand!!!
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+4 #3 Zaitun 2019-10-08 09:40
What Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) describes as "culpable of breaching minimum broadcasting standards" is just an intended methodology aimed at protecting the diminishing image of a rogue govt whose image is now tainted both inside/outside of the country.

If you think what these journalists did was wrong, you better advise your govt security agents stop brutalizing people if they want to improve their own image.

Journalism is a question of telling the truth to those who would like to be informed but not to be kept in darkness.

No one asked your "holy security agents" to behave like terrorists who are dying for the blood of innocent people!!
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+1 #4 Apollo 2019-10-08 10:28
The Communications Act is framed to combine the roles of complainant/accuser, judge and executor against its intended victims.

Most appalling, when it decides to carry out an investigation, it becomes the investigator! Equally baffling, when it has finally produced its wonderful report, it immediately acts on its recommendations!

Not even IGG or any other Department or Agency of Government is this warped! And somehow, Mr. Mutabazi will accuse "Inside Story" of grave sins while he lets Tamale Mirundi run wild on several stations. Do these people truly have a conscience?
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+2 #5 Lakwena 2019-10-08 11:50
In other words, as I have ever said before, the government is an evil institution!

Instead of condemning the culprit (govt/security agents violating human rights) UCC wants to KILL THE MESSENGERS who report about it.
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+2 #6 A k Mukasa 2019-10-08 12:32
These media houses need courts to pronounce themselves on these matters. If they don’t they will end up like the New Vision, a government mouthpiece.

Freedom of press is being eroded incrementally under the guise of regulation.

The regulator has given himself extraordinary powers practically micro managing the press and if these powers are not rolled back by seeking clarity from courts, these powers will be abused as we have witnessed the police abusing POMA at the expense of freedom freedom of association. Be warned.
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0 #7 kony 2019-10-08 16:01
we will not come out from the darkness, if these act of terrorist still continuing, we are there watching each one of you.
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0 #8 Phalanch 2019-10-08 16:02
Gasiya , No matter what these creatures clock is simply tiking away Nothing can be done to stop it.
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0 #9 Kalani Jonathan 2019-10-08 17:56
UCC do your job but do not gag the press. They report as is.

If they have pictures of what happened, how is this dangerous. After all it happened
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