UCC ban of live coverage blatant attempt to gag media – Broadcasters

Chaiman of the National Association of Broadcasters, Kin Kariisa at 2017 TaxPayers Week in Kololo

Broadcasters under their umbrella body, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have expressed concern over what they termed as intimidation and harassment by the Uganda Communications Commission by banning live relaying of parliament proceedings.

UCC recently banned televisions and radios from relaying parliamentary proceedings live during the age limit debate.

In a letter by the NAB chairman Kin Kariisa, broadcasters say the directives by UCC have a negative impact on the economic wellbeing of their members.

“It is indeed perceived as a blatant attempt to gag the media,” says Kariisa.

The broadcasters say that the ban violates the right to freedom of the press and the media which they argue is not right.

According to Kariisa, live broadcast does not depict falsehoods but rather an account of reality and banning it is inflicting pain on them as messengers of information to the public.

“We are yet to see any evidence of incitement as alleged arising from these live broadcasts with an introspective view of other mediums to which the public is exposed where violence is a staple feature.”

The broadcasters also cited the phone call directives to broadcasters received in regards to the live coverage as a form of intimidation and harassment to the media.

“In light of the above, we urgently seek appointment to meet with you so that we amicably discuss these events and come to workable solutions to guide our operations,” says the letter to UCC from the broadcasters copied to the Prime Minister and Minister for Information and Communication.

Part of the broadcasters’ protest to UCC
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