Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has asked the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to rescind directives requiring media house to suspend staff.
NAB chairman, Kin Karisa in a letter to UCC Executive Director, Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi dated May 2nd, 2019 said effecting the “abrupt suspension of key staff on orders of UCC will have adverse consequences,” on operations of media houses.
UCC on Wednesday said it had ordered 13 radio stations and TVs to suspend 39 staff over breach of minimum broadcasting standards. The lists released by UCC on Wednesday evening include six televisions and seven radios.
They are; 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.
UCC ordered each of the stations to suspend the producers, head of news, and head of programmes. This means, if UCC directive is implemented, media houses would temporarily shut doors for 39 senior staff.
The directive, Karisa says will undermine quality of journalism by creating an environment of fear, weaken in-media house standards and controls and compromise opportunity for dialogue between UCC and broadcasters.
Karisa says there is a pending urgent meeting between UCC and National Association of Broadcasters on the matter.
Karisa says “NAB and its broadcasters believe that media plays a key role in shaping a healthy democracy by exposing loopholes in democratic systems.” And this, he argues helps government to better its structures and institutions.
The UCC call for suspension arose out of how media covered Monday’s arrest and prosecution of Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
UCC argued that through live broadcasts of the mentioned stations, contained content that; “misrepresents information, views, facts and events in a manner likely to mislead or cause alarm to the public.”
UCC further noted that the programmes; “have extremist or anarchic messages, including incitement of violence for political and/or other purposes,” and “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.”