By Steven Ainganiza
Radio stations operating in the western region district of Kabarole have face closure for allegedly promoting criminality in their broadcasting programs and content dissemination.
For the 11 days, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) team has been in the Rwenzori region for assessing and promoting customer awareness with the aim of equipping them with knowledge on communication tools plus addressing customer complaints.
Mr. Vincent Bagiire the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT who represented the Minister for ICT at the 6th Consumer Parliament held at Mountains of the Moon Hotel in Fort Portal on Thursday, ordered the UCC to get a three-month recording from all the radio stations in the region for action to be taken.
He said, “It’s extremely bad and hurting for radio stations to host pastors and traditional witch doctors to con the vulnerable population disguising they are treating and healing HIV/AIDS and offering wealth. We need to take immediate action.”
Mr. Bagiire revealed that when these recordings are collected, content will be evaluated and action taken against the broadcasters for promoting criminality that results into impunity which cannot be repaired.
“Under the UCC Act sect 2 and the Constitution of Uganda sect 1:47, it gives powers to the Information, Communication and Technology ministry to close the radio stations and Televisions for promotion of criminality and bad content,” he noted.
The Permanent Secretary's comments followed the remarks by Kabarole Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Mr. Asiimwe Stephen requesting government to tighten laws governing the broadcasters for causing havoc and poisoning the public with hate content.
Mr. Asiimwe asked UCC to investigate radio stations for hosting herbalists, traditional witch doctors and pastors who in their programs mislead and rob the public claiming they are healing all sorts of diseases including HIV/AIDS, barrenness and giving riches to vulnerable people.
Joseph Beyanga the Chairperson of National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) noted that media broadcasters have been so emotional, sentimental and opposing rather than focusing on issues affecting the public.
The 6th Consumer Parliament was held under the theme 20 Years of Excellence and the 7th will be held in Mbale Next year.