By Spy Uganda
The Executive Director of Communications regulatory body in the country, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Irene Kaggwa Ssewankambo, on Monday commissioned new Baba Television lavish studios on Baba Complex in Ntinda, Kampala.
At the Complex, Ms Ssewankambo was received by the station’s CEO, Hon Moses Balyeku and other top managers before ushering them inside the on-air studios for commissioning.
She would then be hosted by Sir Simon Muyanga Lutaaya, Doreen Mwesige and Adam Kungu – the presenters of Gangamuka show.
During the show, Ms Ssewankambo heaped praise on the station’s management for embracing modern technology leading to the establishment of the state of the art magnificent studios.
“I want to take this opportunity to appreciate BaBa TV and its management for reaching this milestone,” Ms Ssewankambo who was in company of Odrek Kukundakwe from the UCC PR department said.
She then expressed pleasure about the rising numbers of broadcast stations in the country as well as increase in number of professional broadcasters.
“We all know that broadcasting has evolved over the years from one player to now almost 42 stations in the country in the field of television, and we have also seen it grow in terms of the depth of content, and professionalism – we are having more people coming on board yet it was just a few people before who were employed in this industry,” Ms Ssewankambo said.
She said today, thousands of people including those who are not journalists, have been employed in the media, saying this, is a great achievement for the industry.
According to Ms Ssewankambo, Uganda registered good progress in going digital from analogy. “We are among the countries that have succeeded in achieving the digital migration almost on time and we have seen that indeed we have started seeing its benefits.”
She emphasized that the Commission is in place to ensure that players in the industry abide by the standards while serving Ugandans.
“We are the regulators of the communication sector, communication sector involves many things which include telecommunication companies, postal, broadcasters and internet providers. A regulator is not police, we are mainly responsible to ensure compliance with broadcasting standards,” she noted.
High Cost Of Internet & Alleged Robbery Of Data By Providers
Ms Ssewankambo said the Commission acknowledges the high cost of internet, but was quick to attribute it to ” internet users who are still few in Uganda.”
On claims that telecommunication companies cheat clients of their data, such complaints ought to be investigated first before reaching a conclusion. She explained that some investigated before have indicated that users actually consume their data unknowingly and again complain of being cheated.
“We get those complaints but some times, on investigation, you find that a person has many active apps that operate in the background. We have told people that if you are not contented with how your data is consumed, UCC developed an app called NetQ-UG, which can help you track. It can help you to know the apps on the phone and how they use your data,” she said.
“We also appeal to customers of telecommunication companies who have complaints to bring them to our notice such that we conduct investigations. Some times their data is consumed, without their knowledge, by apps active in their devices,” she added.
Asked why UCC extends its mandate to online platforms, which use internet, she said: “What brings us to the internet is that when you look at broadcasting regulation, we do not only control its path, but also what is broadcast since what is relayed influences people. And so, when we want to preserve our culture and moral values, all broadcasters whether online or not must observe those values.”
On why UCC demands so many prerequisites from broadcasters, Ms Ssewankambo said the objective is to improve professional standards in broadcasting as well as improving conditions of their employees.
“Broadcasters ought to put in place all the necessary equipment to aid provision of quality service,” said the UCC boss.
On whether UCC is used as a tool to fight particular individuals and bar them from appearing on media, Ms Ssewankambo said: “It is not true at all. UCC does not decide guests media houses host.”
“All we request from the broadcasters is to ensure that their guests do violate the minimum broadcasting standards as stated in the Communications Act,” she explained.
On his part, Hon Balyeku thanked the Executive Director for commissioning the studios and assured her that BaBa TV is compliant in all the requirements. This, he while presenting to her a gift from BaBa Media.
“I take the pleasure to hand a gift from Baba media group. You know we are both radio and TV, today you are at the TV, next time we will invite you to the radio and we also hope that you will be with us at our Christmas Party,” Balyeku said.
He would then note that the new studios are some of the many innovations he is effecting to further the station’s commitment to timely, professional and innovative delivery of social, political and economic information to its audience.
About Baba Television
Baba TV is the Official Busoga Kingdom TV, with studios in Jinja City and Kampala. It is live on all digital platforms including DSTV CH374, Azam TV CH365, ZUKU CH522, GOTV CH 393, Star Sat CH 505 and StarTimes CH235. BaBa FM based in Jinja is its sister station.