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UCC case flops over new petition against Mutabazi

FILE PHOTO: UCC Director Godfrey Mutabazi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The hearing of the consolidated suits challenging the directive of Uganda Communications Commission to 13 media houses to suspend staff for alleged breach of the minimum broadcasting standards has failed to kick off.

This follows a new application that was filed on Thursday against UCC Director Godfrey Mutabazi.

The application is filed by Centre for Constitutional Governance, and Strategic Response International a Civil Society organizations and lawyer Michael Aboneka.

They have sued Mutabazi on grounds that he made directives without the resolution of the UCC board.

They further contend that the UCC Tribunal has not yet been established and it’s the mandate of the President and Minister to constitute it.

These now want court to make orders directing the government to constitute the Media Council and the UCC Tribunal as well as quashing the April 30, 2019, directive.

Court also couldn’t proceed with the case UCC Lawyer Joseph Matsiko told court that Mutabazi is reportedly out of the country on official duties.

The court Presided by Justice Lydia Mugambe has now added this application to the previous three applications that were consolidated last month such that they can all be heard together on October 8th, 2019.

These were filed by Uganda Journalists Association-UJA, city lawyers Ronald Bwire and Henry Byansi.

They seek to quash UCC directive against  13 Media houses directing them to suspend their head of news, producer and head of programs for breach of minimum broadcasting standards.

The Media houses are Akaboozi FM, BBS TV, Beat FM, Kingdom TV, Bukedde TV, NBS TV, NTV, Pearl FM, Salt TV, Sapientia FM, Simba FM and Capital FM.

In its April 30th, 2019 directive UCC demanded that within three days the said media houses should submit to them the names, particulars and qualifications of the subject office holders.

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