By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Kampala: The State Minister for Sports Charles Bakabulindi faced a rough time explaining why the national broadcaster Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation (UBC) failed to air the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) football matches.
Speaking during the 10 July plenary, Bakabulindi said much as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Africa Union of Broadcasters (AUB) had allowed UBC to air the first two games, the Uganda and Egypt match could not be aired because government failed to pay the shillings 1 billion needed for broadcasting rights.
His response was after the Shadow Sports Minister Allan Sewanyana demanded to know why UBC failed to air AFCON games.
On June 30 night, several Ugandans took to social media to express their disappointment over the failure by the national broadcaster, UBC to broadcast AFCON match between Uganda Cranes and Egypt.
Although UBC had resumed broadcasting the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) on June 26 following negotiations with Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Africa Union of Broadcasters (AUB) on Sunday night, the station showed news and cartoons instead of the final Group A match between Uganda Cranes and Egypt.
Football fans found solace in pay televisions and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) to catch the live action from Egypt. Details emerged from UBC proved that the national broadcaster failed to secure broadcasting rights for AFCON.
UBC management regretted the inconvenience most especially at such a time when the Cranes team was doing the country proud.
“These are part of the perpetual challenges the national broadcaster is faced with and it’s time Ugandans face the reality and come to the aid of this highly indebted institution as a result of the debts carried forward from creation in 2005,” the statement reads.
UBC further said, the debts had crippled normal operations for all these years but they hoped to overcome them in the next months to come as government is listening and committed to salvage the situation. The management encouraged Ugandans to watch UBC as this was the only way that revenue could be raised.
The finance minister for planning David Bahati however said government could not avail the Funds because it was too late.
The speaker of parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, however ruled that Government is entirely to blame since it could not prepare enough.