Age limit: UCC stops live coverage of events

One of the chaotic scenes inside Parliament after MPs accused State Minister for Water Ronald Kibuule of having a gun. Photo by Alex Esagala

Following the Tuesday and last week live broadcasts of Parliamentary debacle over the controversial motion to delete Article 102 (b) that limits the age of presidential candidates from the Constitution, and all related protests of Ugandans opposed to the idea, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has directed broadcast outlets to stop live coverage of such events.

In a September 26th directive to all broadcasters in Uganda, signed by the UCC Executive Director, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi , the live broadcasts of such events on television and radio stations are “inciting the public, discriminating, stirring up hatred, promoting a culture of violence amongst the viewers and are likely to create public insecurity or violence.”

Mr Mutabazi said: “The Commission hereby directs all broadcasters to immediately stop and refrain from broadcasting live feeds which are in breach of the minimum broadcasting standards and the best practice guidelines for electronic media coverage/ reporting and broadcasting of live events.”

He said the Commission would not hesitate to carry out enforcement for non-compliance with these guidelines and any further breach will result in suspension and revocation of your license in accordance with Section 41 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013.

He added: “The Commission reminds broadcasters that such live broadcast are a breach of minimum broadcasting standards as laid down in Section 31 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013 and best practice guidelines for electronic media coverage/ reporting and broadcasting of live events.”

MPs throw chairs at their colleagues during the chaoting sitting on Tuesday. Photo by Alex Esagala

MPs restrain Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi from confronting a colleague during the chaotic Sitting on Tuesday. Photo by Alex Esagala

MPs charge at each other during the messy Tuesday Sitting. Photo by Alex Esagala

Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu armed with a microphone stand during the chaoting Sitting. Photo by Alex Esagala

On Tuesday, the world followed events in Parliament as Speaker Rebecca Kadaga adjourned the House sitting to 2 pm on Wednesday after Opposition legislators disrupted Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi from moving a motion on removing the presidential age limit.

For the second time in five days, the legislators got up and started singing for more than 20 minutes inside Parliament Chambers in an attempt to block the motion which the Speaker had scheduled earlier in the day.

Speaker Kadaga was left powerless as her calls for the House to come back to order were ignored by the rowdy legislators who continuously sang the first stanza of the Uganda National Anthem.