The Uganda Communications Commission (The Commission) has directed the suspension of Producers, Head of News and Head of Programmes in the following broadcasting stations; AKABOOZI FM, BBS TV, BEAT FM, BUKEDDE TV, CAPITAL FM, CBS FM, KINGDOM TV, NTV, PEARL FM, SALT TV, SAPIENTIA FM and SIMBA FM.
This directive follows concerns by the commission over the nature of content aired on these broadcast stations particularly during live programmes, breaking news, and main news bulletins which the commission say do not comply with the Minimum broadcasting standards.
In a statement, the Commission yesterday first directed for the suspension of 3 NBS Tv staff. This has been followed up with a new list of additional Tv and radio broadcast stations affected by the directive.
The commission observes that the programmes aired by these TV and radio stations contain content that misrepresents information, views, facts and events in a manner likely to mislead or cause alarm to the public.
“The programmes incite 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,” a statement from the commission read in part.
Further, the commission says the programmes by these radio and Tv stations are presented in a manner that is unbalanced, sensational and that they often give undue prominence to specific individuals and/or groups of people, which they said was a breach of the Minimum broadcasting standards as enshrined in Section 31 schedule 4 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013.
“The commission has previously engaged and warned above broadcasters over similar complaints, but it is now apparent that they have refused and/or ignored these warnings.”
“In exercise of its mandate under Sections 5(1)0), 31 and 45 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Commission has commenced full investigations to determine whether/or not the manner in which the above broadcasters present live programmes and news stories is in accordance with the expected standards and codes of ethics of Journalism,” UCC added.
According to the commission, they say in order to avoid a recurrence of similar breaches during the investigations, and because the said broadcasters have previously been warned about related concerns, they now DIRECT each of the above broadcasting stations to immediately SUSPEND the Producer, Head of News and Head of Programmes pending conclusion of their investigations.
Africa Tembelea has also learnt that, each broadcasting station named is required to within three (3) days from the date of the notice, submit to the Commission the names, particulars and qualifications of the subject office holders and the recordings of all live programs and news bulletins aired on the 29th of April 2019.
The notice further says that If and when a broadcasting station fails or otherwise refuses to comply with any of the above directives, the Commission shall proceed to determine this issue and pass regulatory sanctions in accordance with Section 41 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013.