Media Freedom: Journalists to Boycott Police Functions

MTN Uganda has registered a growth in its revenue despite a challenging operating environment driven by the depreciation of the Uganda Shilling, illness subscriber disconnection as well as the effect of the One Network Area.

The telecom service provider’s performance report for the year that ended in 2015 indicates that the ongoing investment in network and system infrastructure has positioned MTN Uganda as the leading network operator.

This has enabled the company to report good growth in key strategic areas. MTN’s consolidated revenue grew by 4.9 percent Year on Year with Telco revenue growing by 2.8 percent year-on-year.

The CEO, Mr Brian Gouldie while releasing the report on Friday said MTN Uganda’s subscriber base decreased by a net 1.47 million year-on-year (YOY) subscribers notwithstanding the disconnection of 3.7 million subscribers in the last quarter to meet the compliance requirements of the Regulation of Interception Communications Act (RICA).
This resulted in a decrease in the subscriber base by 14.1% to 8.9 million at year end.

“Despite the challenging operating environment last year, our leadership position and revenue growth was secured by our continued investment in network and infrastructure, our wider product range on Mobile Money and increased Data penetration propelled by a push for 3G devices on the network,”  Gouldie said.

“In other successes, the MTN Group has reported a 17.4 percent increase in total data revenue, which contributed 28.3 percent to telco revenue.”

Mobile Data subscriber penetration reached an average of 40% of the total MTN Subscriber Base; which represents a base of 3.3 million subscribers, and a growth of 26% in 3G subscribers year-on-year. This significant growth in data usage that is attributed to the rollout of MTN’s 4G LTE network.

In the financial services aspect, MTN Mobile Money recorded a 6.7 percent YOY increase in active subscribers to 3.45 million and a 23% increase in revenue.


The active Mobile Financial Services subscribers constitute 52.4 percent of MTN’s registered MFS base.
Mobile Money contributed 17.2 percent of all 2015 revenues, representing an increase of 14.3 percent from 2014.

This continued contribution reflects the strength of the financial services offering that has been provided

The total registered mobile money based was 6.5million at year end.

Commenting on the strides made in network coverage, Gouldie said; “Our network rollout and investment plan during 2015 led to a steady growth in network sites, to a cumulative total of 1,567 sites on the network. This was attributed to 163 (2G)), 100 (3G) and 80 (4G LTE) sites.”

While MTN’s 2G network covers 89 percent of Uganda total area geographically, 3G coverage is reported at 57 percent penetration of Uganda’s total addressable population.
A group of journalists in Kampala on Friday morning announced a boycott of police functions and activities, order in retaliation to the continuous brutality and inhumane treatment of their colleagues by the men in uniform.

The announcement comes in the wake of brutal arrests of reporters by police, this who were covering events near the home of incarcerated opposition politician Col Dr Kizza Besigye.

About nine reporters were arrested in the past few days and detained by police, viagra dosage which didn’t want them to capture the events at the Kasangati residence.

The reporters vowed this morning to shun all police addresses and functions until the Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura comes out and address their grievances.

In their heated meeting in Kampala, Arnold Mukose the coordinator of this boycott remarked that the harsh treatment of the media practitioners by police was a big threat to journalism.

For this reason he said many people had started to disrespect journalists and that the industry was becoming more unattractive to new entrants.

“It’s so annoying to see security organs harassing journalists when associations like Uganda Journalists Association (UJA), Parliamentary Media Forum and Uganda Human Rights Network for Journalists (UHRNJ) are silent,’ Musoke complained.

“We therefore call upon media owners and editors not to compel field reporters to cover police functions during this period until police resolves all our grievances’

The reporters are seeking among others; an apology from the IGP, to have the implicated police officers paraded and reprimanded, and to make assurances that this police behavior will be revised.


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