By Our Reporter
KAMPALA: Well, popular artiste turned political activist Bobi Wine could right now be singing not for his fellow Ghetto youths straight from dagala Kamwokya but from the coolest university of Understanding for fellow inmates in Luzira maximum prison!
But soon or later, as we dive into the 2021 election campaigns, many media houses could face serious consequences in covering his activities and those of Rtd.Col.Dr.Kizza Besigye as several Radio stations have already tasted the bitter ‘pill’.
Now,the latest biggest causality highly targeted is NBS TV, the POLITICAL COMAND CENTRE, whose commanding post is at Media plaza in Kamwokya, a Kampala Suburb.
As we write this, The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the regulatory body has already ordered for the suspension of NBS TV top editors, citing breach of minimum broadcasting standards while covering the Kyadondo East legislator Robert Ssentamu kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine on Monday as he made his way to Kibuli CID HQ to answer police summons.
Bobi Wine was however cut off from Mulago roundabout, arrested, whisked away to Nagalama Police station and later produced at Buganda road court.
To the amusement of UCC, all these happenings were being relayed live on NBS TV, instead of Agriculture and livestock shows, which is our backbone as a country! But even then, according to UCC, the live coverage was done in total contravention of the minimum broadcasting standards.
In a Tuesday, April 30 letter, a copy of which TheSpy Uganda got, UCC directs the Kamwokya based station to suspend the head of news Ms. Joyce Bagala, the head of programmes and the producer of the Monday live broadcast, pending investigations.
“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 NBS Television presents its live broadcasts and news stories is in accordance with the expected standards and codes of ethics of Journalism. In order to avoid a recurrence of similar breaches during the investigations, the Commission hereby DIRECTS as follows:
(a) That NBS Television should immediately SUSPEND the Producer, Head of News and Head of Programmes pending conclusion of the investigations.
(b) 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.
(c) That NBS Televisions should within three (3) days from the date hereof submit to the Commission recordings of all live programs and news bulletins aired on the 29th of April 2019.
Please note that should NBS Television fail/or otherwise refuse to comply with any of the above directives, the Commission shall proceed to determine this complaint and may issue any regulatory sanctions against NBS Television Limited in accordance with Section 41 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013,” read part of the letter signed by the Executive Director Eng.Godfrey Mutabazi.
This investigative website has understood from separate sources within the security apparatus that UCC is only acting because it’s the legally recognized Gov’t agency to deal with the media, but it’s actually on behalf of the top security dogs who have been critical of NBS’ reporting of late and have been giving
When contacted for a comment through the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) WhatsApp group, the group’s CEO Kin Kariisa said he was to meet the group’s lawyer to interpret, first, whether UCC has powers to direct them on whom to employ at NBS TV or not to employ.
“For now I don’t want to say much, because we have already objected to some of their demands, we actually have a meeting with them on them (UCC) on Thursday on these matters. I also want to be guided by our lawyer tomorrow on whether UCC has powers to tell me who to fire and hire,” Kin said via whatsApp chat.
NBS TV is not alone, we’ve reliably informed that similar directives have gone out to Buganda Kingdom’s newest ‘baby’, BBS Terefayina , CBS FM, Radio Simba FM 97.3, Nsambya Catholic Church based Radio Sapientia, and pastor Bugingo’s Salt TV.
Others include Agha Khan’s Nation Media group’s NTV Uganda, Pearl FM, Kingdom TV, Capital FM, Bukedde TV, Best FM, and Akaboozi Radio.
A number of radio stations upcountry have been affected because of alleged breach of broadcasting standards. The most recent victim is Kanungu Broadcasting Services, where a radio presenter and producer were suspended on orders of UCC.
President Museveni has repeatedly complained complained about the alleged ‘misrepresentation’ of ‘facts’ by NBS TV and warned that they would soon be ‘fixed’.