Only President Museveni’s Message To Run For Free-UCC, NAB Agree On UBOS Census Campaign

Only President Museveni’s Message To Run For Free-UCC, NAB Agree On UBOS Census Campaign

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Uganda communications Commission (UCC) executive Director, Hon.George William Nyombi Thembo and executive committee of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have agreed that the only message that falls in the category of free airtime for national events is the president’s message on national Census program.

All other messages by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) should be paid for or have a separate arrangement with the Media, but not hide behind the national events such as the national calendar events or disasters.

“No no no, our mandate as UCC is asking you to run the national of the national leader, our president, other messages I think UBOS asked for a budget and that budget was granted. That’s out of our mandate. We know that you’re running a commercial business and the biggest spender on Media in the whole world is Government, I know this, remember I’m also a broadcaster,” Nyombi Thembo said during the impromptu meeting held at UCC headquarters on Thursday afternoon.

Nyombi, in his communication also pledged to discuss with others bosses of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to include media budget while appropriating for their activities.

“I think I have learnt something here, I’m also going to write to my colleagues of all MDAs to include a Media budget in their planning, because you’ve to make money. Remember I actually scrutinize your accounts, if I find that you make no profits, then as a regulator I’m supposed to advise you to close or we help you,” he added.

Read Also: We Also Have Bills To Pay, Give Us Money Or No Services- Broadcasters Defy UCC Directive On Free Census Airtime – TheSpy (

The agreement follows a heated exchange between UCC and a section of media owners who protested the airing of the Census messages free of charge yet UBOS was allocated billions of money including a budget for media coverage.

Following the UCC directive, the broadcasters under NAB said they would not comply with the regulator’s directive because the census has been in planning for the last 10 years and it ought to have been budgeted for accordingly.

“It is important to note that broadcasters typically provide coverage for national emergencies, calamities and national presidential addresses free of charge, but a pre-planned census should be budgeted for appropriately,” NAB’s chairman, Dr. Innocent Nahabwe said in his response.

“Media organizations operate as commercial entities, paying licensing fees to the UCC, taxes and facing financial obligations such as staff salaries and operational expenses. Deliberate budgeting for national initiatives such as the census should be undertaken, akin to other programmes of the census that have been adequately budgeted for. It is on the basis of these considerations that we have regrettably declined to comply with the directive issued by UCC and will advise our members accordingly. We respectfully request a reconsideration of the directive and an opportunity for constructive dialogue on how best to support the census while addressing the concerns of media stakeholders,” Dr. Nahabwe added.

Uganda is set to conduct the National Population and housing Census 2024 with the reference night being 9th May 2024. The Census will be done in 10 days starting on 9th May 2024 to 19th May 2024.

The President of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, launched the NPHC 2024 activity on December 12th2023.  After every 10 years, Uganda holds a national census and the last one was carried out in 2014.

The census figures play a critical role in guiding planning, policy formulation, and programme implementation as well as monitoring development progress in line with the national goals and objectives.

The census exercise will use digital technology to collect, process and disseminate census results. The digital census will enable the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) to produce accurate and timely demographic, social and economic statistics. an accessible web community

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