Soroti, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform- NUP and four other presidential candidates have not had access to any radio station in Teso Sub Region since campaigns commenced last November.
Kyagulanyi, Greg Mugisha Muntu of the Alliance for National Transformation- ANT, Willy Mayambala, John Katumba and Fred Mwesigye- all independent candidates were neither hosted physically nor virtually in any of the five popular radio stations in the region.
Our reporter visited the five radio stations in Soroti city to interact with managers and found out that only the incumbent, Yoweri Museveni has had virtual campaigns in all the radio stations across the region. Teso has 12 radio stations with Soroti hosting five followed by Amuria district with two and Bukedea, Kumi, Ngora, Serere, Kaberamaido and Katakwi districts hosting a radio station each.
Information available indicates that President Museveni had his campaign rallies relayed live as he canvassed for votes in the region while Patrick Amuriat Oboi of the Forum for Democratic Change- FDC was given live coverage in some radio stations during his campaign launch in Soroti.
Amuriat has also been hosted live at Etop Radio Station for two hours and given another virtual one hour at Voice of Teso.
The other candidates, Nobert Mao of the Democratic Party- DP and Henry Tumukunde- an independent- were hosted at Voice of Teso and Etop Radio respectively while Nancy Linda Kalembe was hosted at Teso Broadcasting Service (TBS) and Joseph Kabuleta at Delta Radio.
Charles Akeru, the Programs Manager at Voice of Teso says that access to the presidential candidates has been difficult to help arrange for talk shows. He adds that sometimes, the programming in the radio doesn’t allow space to host candidates when they visit the region.
Evelyn Adwoko, the Programs Manager for Delta Radio says that some of the presidential candidates didn’t show up in town or avail themselves to the radio for talk shows. She notes that the majority of the presidential candidates were covered in the news articles written by journalists at the station.
Joseph Akiiso, the Station Manager at Etop Radio says that his editorial team has availed all the presidential candidates space in the news whenever they visit Teso.
“We have ably covered them in our news but talk shows depend on individual interests. There are other radio stations in town and some candidates could have preferred them to us but we are here to serve all people”, Akiiso told URN in his office.
When campaigning in the region, some of the candidates indicated that they had been denied access to radio stations in Soroti over alleged orders from the Resident District Commissioner and some government agencies.
Benson Ekuwe, the Executive Director of Public Affairs Center of Uganda said in recent interviews with our reporter that some Presidential Candidates aren’t known to voters in the region because they have not been given airtime on radios.
The majority of the radios in Teso are generally believed to owned by NRM supporters.