Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) the regulators of all media houses in Uganda has warned the owners of radio and Television owners that they risk to be closed or their licenses cancelled if they continue harassing opposition leaders during these elections.
Executive Director UCC Eng. Irene Ssewakambo Kaggwa issued the tough warnings during a joint meeting between Journalists and Uganda Human Rights Commission that was held at UCC boardroom in Bugolobi a posh Kampala suburb.
“All candidates irrespective of their political parties must be given equal media platforms from all Radio and Television stations across Uganda during these elections because we shall have no mass gatherings,” says UCC boss Eng Irene Kaggwa. She added that media houses that will deny opposition candidates air space will be closed or their operational licenses cancelled.
“If an opposition candidate pays his time and has receipts of payments and the radio station refuses him or her space then they should complain to UCC for immediate action because it will be against the law,” she says adding that UCC will not allow any marginalization during elections.
However, Eng Irene Kaggwa also warned media houses and social media plat forms like facebook, online newspapers among others against giving fake, false information during these elections. “Some people want to use social media to spread harmful propaganda, circulating fake and false information during these elections and whoever does it, the UCC act will work on him or her,” She warned.
On use of Public address systems commonly known as Bizindalo, Eng Irene Kaggwa says UCC, EC and Nema are in talks to see how best candidates can use them without interfering with other local residents. She further says all political candidates must observe Standard Operational Procedures given by the Ministry of Health in relation to covid19 pandemic.
Dr Amooti Katabarwa the acting Chairman Uganda Human rights Commission says they will not allow brutality from any security organization or individual during these elections. “Uganda Human Rights Commission has started observing some brutality from police and Army and they must condemn it and must stop,” he says. He also warned security agencies from brutalizing journalists who are on their normal work.
“Journalists are not supposed to be harassed or beaten when they are doing their daily work. Even if they are covering opposition candidates must be given security,” he says. He furthers says that Journalists should also do their work professionally and follow the law.
He further said that selective gathering would not be allowed. “We have seen some NRM members holding some gathering and are not attacked and when opposition does the same, they are beaten and tear gassed by police and this must stop,” he says.