Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has said it will start an investigation into media houses and journalists that it had originally suspended for violating broadcasting standards and regulation.
UCC today met privately with media house owners to deliberate on the direction given to them to suspend/fire program directors, presenters and journalists that had live-broadcast a demonstration by MP Robert Kyagulanyi when his Easter concerts were cancelled by Uganda Police.
While addressing the media about the outcomes of the meeting, the UCC ED, Godfrey Mutabazi said the two parties agreed that the affected persons step aside from their official duties for 30 days to give UCC time and space to investigate their cases before giving the final verdict.
“For now, no one is losing their job, but we have asked the media houses to suspend the implicated persons for the time until we have investigated this case,” he said.
The UCC manager Consumer Affairs, Ibrahim Bbosa said the investigation will look into individual cases to determine whether the Implicated media persons have the professional skill, training, or whether they were being influenced to cover the demonstration the way they did.
“Once the investigation is done, we will send the concerned media houses with actions to take,” he said.
Mr. Bbosa further denied allegations by some activists that UCC was working to protect the interests of the current government.
He said all actions, directives that UCC has given have been done in according with the law and fall under its given mandate.
“This is not to obstruct the media from their role of informing the public. What to want is to protect the public from over hyped negative news that affect their normal lives as well as tilting the image of the country,” he added.
He also denied allegation that UCC had deterred some media houses from hosting some politicians like Hon Betty Nambooze, Hon Kyagulanyi and Kizza Besigye
“We have not issued any such order to any politician or media house. The radio stations that have been suspended were not affected because of hosting a politician but broadcasting material that was against the UCC set standards.”
The Chairperson of the Uganda Broadcasters Association, Kin Kaliisa said they agreed to the conditions that media Houses should suspend the affected employees and give UCC a chance to investigate them without interference.
“Although the incident that led to the directive was the same, we believe each media house and personnel has a different case and should be investigated as an individual. We pledge to continue upholding UCC standards as we work together to make the media industry better,” he said.