Mutabazi to meet broadcasters over suspended staff

Saturday May 4 2019

Uganda Communications Commission boss, Godfrey

Uganda Communications Commission boss, Godfrey Mutabazi. FILE PHOTO 

By Monitor Reporter

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) boss, Godfrey Mutabazi has invited the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for an urgent meeting on Tuesday to discuss the directive to suspend journalists.

The Commission accuses at least 39 journalists of violating the minimum broadcast standards.

In his letter dated May 3, Mr Mutabazi said the meeting was requested by NAB members. The letter is titled: Repeated Breach of the Minimum broadcasting standards”

“The Commission agrees to meet the executive members of NAB and hereby invites you for the meeting on Tuesday May 7 at 10:00am at UCC House Bugoloobi,” the letter reads.
The decision to meet NAB came after UCC directives came after media house, journalists, human rights defenders as well as MPs rejected the UCC directives as ‘draconian’ and uncalled for.

Earlier, NAB Chairman Mr Kin Kalisa of NBS TV had written to UCC boss, requesting him to rescind the directive and requested for a joint meeting to discuss the matter. The letter was sent to UCC on the eve of the World Press Freedom Day. The UCC directive to suspend journalists from the various media house dominated the World Press Freedom Day festivities.

“NAB and its members believe that the media plays a key role in shaping a healthy democracy by exposing loopholes in the democratic system which ultimately helps government to fill them and making the system more accountable, responsive and citizens- friendly,” Mr Kalisa said in a letter to UCC.

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UCC had ordered 13 radio stations and TVs to suspend 39 producers, heads of programming and heads of news as it investigates alleged breach of minimum broadcasting standards while covering the arrest of Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine on Monday.

Media stations suspended
NBS TV, BBS TV, NTV, Bukedde TV, Kingdom TV and Salt TV. Radio stations like Akaboozi, Beat FM, Capital FM, Pearl FM, Sapientia FM and Radio Simba.
On Thursday, Opposition Members of Parliament yesterday tasked government to explain why Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is issuing orders which they described as “draconian” with intent to clamp down on media freedom.
This was after the Opposition Chief Whip and Kiira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda expressed concern that media freedom in Uganda is deteriorating.

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