A letter directing a radio talk show on Aulogo FM in Adjumani district to resign his position over a planned show that was set to feature opposition leader, Dr Kizza Besigye has sparked debate on social media.
In the letter dated July 6, Anyama Williams, the Chairman Board of Directors of Aulogo Media Services writes to a one Amacha Goli, a talk show host on the radio, seeking explanation on his intentions to host the opposition politician.
“I hereby direct you to submit a written detailed explanation on the circumstances surrounding the planned radio talk show meant to host the Party President of the Forum for Democratic Change, Col Kizza Besigye and other officials which was stopped by government security agencies and led to a scuffle at Aulogo Media Station,” Anyama writes.
As such, he directed the host to quit his job “to pave way for investigations into the matter”.
“You are therefore required to handover to Programme Manager with immediate effect. You will be notified after receiving the document from you and carrying out investigations into the matter”.
A day prior to Anyama’s letter, the radio station’s Program’s Manager, Iranya Ronald wrote to the District Chairperson responding to an earlier letter from the Office of the Resident District Commissioner on the issue.
The Office of the President had advised the radio station to halt the political talk show citing security concerns pending an assessment by the security committee.
“We have made arrangements to refund the money paid for the 2 hour talk show that amounted to 1,600,000 (one million six hundred thousand shillings),” Iranya wrote.
“We await the report of the security committee as the company we will make immediate arrangements to have you on air to address the people of madi sub-region,” he said.
This latest case in Adjumani brings to the fore the concerns that the political opposition have previously raised regarding what they say are deliberate efforts by the government to stifle their activities.
On several occasions, former FDC President, Dr Kizza Besigye has complained about being blocked by police from accessing radio stations.
In April this year, Police raided Mubende FM in Mubende district , arrested and detained Besigye in Mityana before releasing him later in the day.
In the same period, similar cases occurred in Kabale and Jinja where Police raided radio stations and stopped live talk shows where Besigye was being hosted.
At the time, the Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Eng Godfrey Mutabazi told Daily Monitor that: “If someone is inciting public violence, they (police) can switch off without UCC clearance. If you are committing a crime, they don’t want UCC to clear”.
For two consecutive years, FDC which is the biggest opposition political party in Uganda has refused to take part in the Inter Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) Summits, arguing that the political playing field is not leveled.
They say there have been repeated attempts by government to stop them from mobilizing their supporters by using security agencies to block opposition politicians under the pretext of implementing the Public Order Management Act.