Five media houses in Uganda could be closed by the government and their licenses revoked for covering political rallies staged by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi Wine.
The media Houses including NTV, NBS, BBS, Bukedde TV and Radio Sapientia were allegedly found guilty by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) of breaching the minimum standards required in broadcasting.
According to a report by the Communications Commission released on Monday, the total number of broadcasters under investigations were 13 and went against section 31 and schedule 4 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013.
“The directive to order individual producers, editors and heads of news to step aside was never intended to stifle any particular person’s right. This was a purely administrative measure that the commission, in exercise of its broad investigative mandate under the Uganda Communications Act, deemed necessary for purposes of protecting the public against the potential continued risk of harmful content produced, edited and presented to the public by the same individuals that were subject of the investigations,” read part of the report.
Bobi Wine has been engaged in a cat and mouse game with the state, not backing down on his ambitions of ousting Yoweri Museveni who has ruled the country for over three decades.
He has been arrested, released and re-arrested again on several occasions, as the government struggles to have him tamed.
Earlier today, the defiant musician cum politician faulted the government for threatening the media houses that covered his protests, terming the move unjust and dictatorial.
“For carrying a live coverage of police brutality against me and my supporters, Ugandan media houses NTV, NBS, BBS, Bukedde TV and Radio Sapientia have been threatened with a revocation of their licenses” said Bobi Wine.
In April this year, Uganda radio stations were warned against hosting the members of the opposition including Dr Kizza Besigye.
Speaking on the matter, the chairperson of Lango Radio Owners Association Mr JB Okello Okello noted that several radio station managers had been warned against hosting authorities from the opposition party.
“They (authorities) did not make any formal communication to the radio stations but there have been a lot of threats from the security that no radio station should host Dr Besigye.” said Okello.