By Spy Uganda
Recently, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the communications regulatory body, through the media released a list of 108 FM radio stations that were up for closure reportedly over non-compliant issues.
However, out of the above number, at least by close of business on Monday evening 29th, only 18 had been cleared after successful submission of the required paperwork leaving out a whooping 90 other limping stations up for closure effective August 31 2022, at midnight.
This was revealed by Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa-Sewankambo on Monday morning during a high-level meeting with new executive members of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) at the Commission’s headquarters in Bugolobi, a Kampala suburb.
Irene told NAB executive members that most of the affected stations’ managers and directors have been adamant in submitting the required paperwork and have also been reluctant to comply with the required standards for four years now. “We’ve been overstretched to the limit. These managers and directors for the last 4 years, all our communications via emails and through press releases have all hit a dead end, we’re left with no option but to close them,” Irene said.
UCC recently threatened to close radio stations that had failed to comply with several requirements including shifting from the old tech of masts and licensing processes among others.
“We even invited them previously to harmonize the gaps together, to our dismay, only 42 out of 108 turned up for the meeting. But even those 42, only 18 have since complied,” UCC’s head legal Abdu Salam Waiswa stated.
When asked by Independent On-line Journalists Association (Indoja-U) President Andrew Irumba Katusabe to clarify the continued closure of Facebook in Uganda, Irene said that Uganda Government is still waiting for Facebook to respond to the regulatory and tax obligation concerns they raised in their communication.
“We did our part as Government, the last time we checked as the commission, they said they were still overstretched by Kenya elections. Now that they’re over, we’re waiting for their response,” Irene clarified.
The commission also revealed that they’re now testing their online application software that would enable applicants for any services by the commission to do so via online. This they said would greatly improve on turn-around time of doing business with them. “We’re now testing the service, very soon you won’t require to travel from Karamoja to come here to apply or follow up on your license status, you will track online,” Irene said.
UCC was created by the Communications Act enacted in 1997, by the Ugandan Parliament. That instrument, split the then Ugandan parastatal, Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Company Limited (UPTCL), into four entities:
- Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) – The communications industry regulator
- Uganda Post Limited – Also known as Posta Uganda
- PostBank Uganda – A government-owned financial institution
- Uganda Telecom – An information technology and communication network company.
Pictorial Of NAB Meeting With UCC