Uganda regulator orders broadcasters to suspend staff

Uganda’s media regulator has ordered 13 radio and television stations to suspend some of their journalists and editors, accusing them of “misrepresenting information” and inciting violence by broadcasting “extremist or anarchic messages”.

The regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), did not specify cases of alleged breaches in the directive sent to the 13 media houses – including NBS Television, Bukedde TV, NTV, CBS FM and Capital FM.

It ordered the suspension of producers, heads of news and heads of programmes within three days.

“This follows concerns over the nature of content aired on these broadcast stations particularly during live programmes, breaking news, and main news bulletins which do not comply with the Minimum broadcasting standards,” the UCC added.

Uganda’s privately owned The Observer newspaper quoted sources at some of the stations as saying that the UCC was angry about their coverage of the arrest of pop star and opposition MP Bobi Wine, and protests by his supporters on Monday.

Bobi Wine – who real name is Robert Kyagulanyi – is due to appear in court for a bail hearing after being charged with “disobedience of statutory duty” for organising a protest against a tax on the use of social media, the state-owned New Vision newspaper reported.

Police warned that any planned processions during his court appearance were illegal, and political groups which organised them would not be tolerated, the newspaper added.


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