The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has refuted claims that it banned artiste Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine’s song, Dembe, from the airwaves.
“Uganda Communications Commission has not banned any song by Bobi Wine – as far as I am aware,” Mr Godfrey Mutabazi UCC executive director told the Daily Monitor by telephone on Sunday.
Though he is currently outside Uganda, as the executive director, he would be informed of any action by the commission.
Since yesterday, social media has been awash with news that UCC had banned the song from playing on any local radio station.
In the song, Bobi Wine preaches against election–related violence.
He sues for peace, saying violence among the youth had increased, which shames the leaders.
The message is timely – now that Uganda’s eight presidential candidates in the last stretch of their campaigns, which began in November and will end early next month.
Tension has already risen, especially between supporters of the National Resistance Movement presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni and Independent candidate Amama Mbabazi.
Over the last two months, NRM supporters have reportedly been stationing themselves in places or routes likely to be used by Mr Mbabazi and his entourage.
Matters came to ahead in Ntungamo in mid December when Mbabazi supporters disarmed and beat the NRM supporters who had attacked them.
By press time, Bobi Wine could not be reached for a comment.
An arts and culture writer said claims of artists song being banned are not new.
He said this has happened in some social cycles ahead of the launch of some of the artist’s albums.
“They [artistes] can start rumours to drive listenership or interest in their songs,” the writer said.
Indeed, by last evening, some social media users were tweeting that news about the ‘ban’ had driven them to listen to the song.
Bobi Wine is not stranger to controversy: just when many of his fellow artistes went falling all over themselves to be photographed with Mr Museveni, he kept away.
He has in the past been photographed posing with Forum for Democratic Change candidate Dr Kizza Besigye.
In the song. Bobi Wine calls for peaceful elections. He says in the past government has been changed through guns. He says refusal to leave power is what has made Uganda a basket case