By Max Patrick Ocaido
Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) Television and all its affiliated radio and television channels have gone off-air over Yaka.
UBC, the sole national broadcaster has been off-air since about 2 pm. According to inside sources, the station has run out of Yaka to generate power. Sources told Kampala Post that Umeme recently cut off UBC from their grid and connected them to Yaka after the national broadcaster accumulated millions of unpaid power bills.
Whereas UBC has a standby generator, apparently, the generator is faulty and the company engineers are running up and down to ensure it is up and running to resume normal programming. All the stations including UBC and other affiliated TV stations such as Magic TV, Star TV, and others were off-air by press time.
When contacted, UBC Head of Engineering Michael Ampaire admitted that there is a technical issue with the company generator and that it is being rectified.
“There is a technical issue with the generator. However, the problem has been identified and we are rectifying it in about 5 minutes,” Ampaire said in a telephone interview.
By press time, a group of people who were supposed to be hosted for the Sunday afternoon show popularly known as “Oteesa Otya” on Star TV were stranded at UBC. Among those who are stranded include; top government officials.
Last week, UBC was in the eye of the storm after the station requested for Shs1billion to broadcast the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) games in Cairo, Egypt where Uganda Cranes is tipped to qualify for the Round of 16 for the first time since the 1970s.
Apparently, UBC has not yet signed on loan papers to acquire the money to broadcast the games as the process is being frustrated.
Meanwhile, the national broadcaster will soon or later run out of staff following massive resignation that has hit the company since the UBC Revamp team completed their restructuring last year. The latest to resign is Sandra Nakiwala, Luganda News Anchor who recently joined NTV. Staff resignations, especially in the newsroom, have been cited on the new News Editor Rachel Takali who has become unpopular over bad leadership characterized by divisionism.
The other staff who resigned as a result of bad leadership is senior news reporter Samuel Galandi who threw in the towel in January this year. Galandi has since joined Petroleum Authority of Uganda as the head of Photography and Videography.
Apparently, other senior new reporters have threatened to tender in their resignation letters soon or later for as long as Takali is still the head of the newsroom.