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UCC considers suspending NBS and NTV over Bobi Wine

by James Ateenyi

Uganda Communication Commission has yielded to pressure from from the general public led by Forum for Democratic Change lawyer Mr Muwonge Daniel and ordered for the suspension of top NBS Television editors, due to breach of minimum broadcasting standards.

In a letter addressed to the broadcaster, the UCC has on Tuesday urged the NBS management to suspended the head of news Ms. Joyce Bagala, the head of programmes and the producer of the live broadcast pending investigations.

“…in exercise 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 NBS Television presents its live broadcasts and news stories is in accordance with the expected standards and codes of ethics of Journalism,” UCC Executive Director Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi signed the said letter

Dainel Muwonge applauded the communication regulator for acting on NBS standards and he called upon UCC to look through Dr A A Kaliisa’s show on Sunday who he accuses of abusing opposition Kizza Besigye at all times, he added that its through the UCC that he requests also UCC to look through Uganda Police actions and caution it on why they always stop Kizza Besigye from appearing on radio stations with out a clear reason.

According to the UCC, the minimum broadcasting standards prohibit, among other things, broadcast of content that promotes violence and ethnic prejudice, is likely to create public insecurity or violence and is biased hence the call for suspension of NBS officials .

Director Mutabazi notes that in the view of the fact that NBS Television has previously been warned about similar concerns, the station has been directed key among others immediately suspend the Producer, Head of News and Head of Programmes pending conclusion of the investigations.

“That NBS Television should within three (3) days from the date hereof submit to the Commission the names, particulars, and qualifications of the subject office holders,” reads that letter.

The regulator letter adds that NBS has also been directed to submit to the Commission recordings of all live programs and news bulletins aired on the 29th of April 2019.

The television station has also been asked by UCC to “submit to within 3 days a copy of the subject show.”

The regulator goes ahead to state “In order to allow the Commission to thoroughly investigate the substance of the said complaint, NBS Television is hereby DIRECTED to immediately SUSPEND the producer, head of news and head programming.

Failure to obey the directive, Mutabazi said, “The Commission shall not hesitate to take further enforcement measures including suspension of NBS Television’s broadcast license.”

However its not only NBS TV but a similar directive has gone out to BBS TV, Simba FM, Radio Sapientia, and Salt TV.

Others include NTV Uganda, Pearl FM, NTV, Kingdom TV, CSB FM, Capital FM, Bukedde TV, Best FM, and Akaboozi Radio

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