Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga says that the Parliament radio project has stalled due to delays in acquiring a frequency.
During an end of year press conference, Kadaga says that Parliament has “been having a lot of trouble” in getting a frequency for the radio.
The radio is expected to communicate activities of Parliament with coverage in several parts of Uganda.
Kadaga says that Uganda Communications Commission – UCC allocated the Parliament radio station one of the frequencies of the national broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation – UBC. The radio was allocated the 98.0 FM frequency in March this year.
However, the frequency had been hosting UBC RED channel, which covers Kampala and the central region.
At the time, Kadaga welcomed the news saying that Parliament will no longer care about being denied media space and also misrepresentation because it will be operating its own radio station.
The radio was expected to be in operation by end of this year.
However, Kadaga told journalists that UBC has since protested the re-allocation of the frequency to parliament and UCC has not yet given it another one.
Kadaga is however optimistic that the designated Minister for ICT, Judith Nabakooba and Deputy, Peter Ogwang will fast track acquisition of the frequency for the Parliament Radio.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has however not yet communicated to Kadaga on the Cabinet reshuffle so that the Parliamentary Appointments Committee can vet the new nominees including Nabakooba and Ogwang.
The cabinet reshuffle was announced over a week ago with Mityana Woman MP, Nabakooba replacing Frank Tumwebaze as Minister for Information, ICT and National Guidance.
Peter Ogwang, who is also Usuk County MP and a backbench member of the Parliamentary Commission, will replace Kayunga Woman MP, Aidah Nantaba.
Kadaga says that she has also asked the office of the Auditor General to carry out an audit on radio frequencies because some are not in use.
However, the UCC Executive Director, Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi says Parliament will have to wait longer to get a radio frequency in Kampala.
He explains that out of the over 200 radio stations in Uganda, about 70 operate in Kampala. In phone call, Mutabazi told Uganda Radio Network-URN that the fastest way for parliament to get a frequency is under the arrangement of getting the UBC channel.
Otherwise, UCC cannot allocate a frequency in Kampala due to technical reasons including the risk of interference.
Therefore, there is no available frequency for a new radio station in Kampala, unless Parliament can ” find an idle one”, according to Mutabazi.
He says that UCC is also eager to get findings from the Auditor General on the frequencies.