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UCC Suspends Top TV Morning Show, Summons Bosses Over On-air Spat with Miss Uganda

Uganda Communications Commission has summoned the management of Top Television to defend itself against complaints of breach of Minimum Broadcasting Standards.

During the TV’s “Cocktail” morning show of 20 April 2020, the moderator Ms Joan Nakintu Lule attacked her guest, Miss Uganda Oliver Nakakande, which sparked social media outrage.

The host yelled at the beauty queen after the latter complained about a low-blow question about her loss in a previous competition.

The exchange according to the commission, was “perceived as unprofessional.”

UCC on Wednesday wrote Top Television indicating that a member of the public had complained that the station’s news broadcasts are not balanced to ensure harmony and that its presenters are unprofessional, citing the “Cocktail” programme that aired on 20 April 2020 at 8 am as an example.

“The complainant alleges that during the broadcast of the show “Cocktail”, the presenter or host was unprofessional, failed to meet journalistic principles or ethics, and thus breached the broadcasting standards,” the UCC Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo wrote on 22 April 2020.

“The complainant further alleges that during the show, Ms Nakintu Joan Lule as a host of the program was unfair, lacked objectivity and impartiality required of a presenter.”

The Commission has since launched investigations into the conduct of Top Television.

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“To facilitate the investigation, the station is required to submit a recording of the said programme, alongside the programme script indicating the theme and topic of discussion that was covered,” UCC said in a statement.

“The station must also provide proof of requisite qualifications and registration of the producer, programmes director and host of the programme as required under Sections 5 and 27 of the Press and Journalist Act.”

In addition, the Commission has directed that broadcasting of the programme be suspended until after the investigation has been concluded, in order to mitigate the risk of further breach.

The show host recently apologised on air, and the station issue an apology of its own through a press statement in which it admitted that the presenter had “exhibited unprofessional conduct”.

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