Jinja radio put off air for hosting Besigye


Besigye addressing crowds in eastern Uganda

We are verifying a report indicating that a Jinja based radio has been put off air by government for hosting FDC strongman, Kizza Besigye.

Sources tell us government switched off Baba FM radio in Jinja town on Tuesday evening as soon as Dr. Besigye started addressing listeners.

Besigye who is currently traversing the country drumming support for the flag bearer position in the opposition FDC, was Tuesday visiting Jinja and Iganga districts.

Earlier in the day, Besigye’s supporters closed off the road to Iganga demanding that he addresses them first.

The retired colonel had reached Bulanga on his way to Iganga, when crowds standing on the road sides blocked the road waving and screaming “the change” slogans.

In Iganga town itself, a huge crowd turned up despite Tuesday being a working day.

Besigye would conclude the tour with a radio talk show hosted by Basoga Baino Baba) FM, a radio station located in Jinja town.

The radio is owned by Jinja businessmen, Moses Balyeku, who reportedly set up the station in Bugembe specifically to advocate for Busoga Kingdom interests.

The radio is likened to Buganda radio CBS.

The source tells us the huge audience that graced Besigye’s rallies “scared the ruling NRM” prompting the government to switch off Baba FM before Besigye could address his fans and listeners.


Besigye had started speaking for about 10 minutes when suddenly the station was put off air.

We are told two radio workers who were supposed to moderate the talk show have been suspended with immediate effect.

“We had decided to go to Apex FM as an alternative. The radio at first accepted but on arrival, they also told us they couldn’t host Besigye,” the source told us.

By the time of filing the story, no member of the radio’s management nor government official was readily available for comment.

Last year, the Manager Spice radio in Hoima lost his job for offering airtime to opposition activists and politicians who included; FDC leader General Mugisha Muntu, DP President Nobert Mao, Former FDC President Colonel Dr. Kizza Besigye and Leader of opposition in Parliament-Wafula Oguttu, among others.

Although the talk show went on unhampered, it later cost the station Manager Geoffrey Magezi, his job at the hands of the Managing director, Edgar Agaba.

Two years before, while on Kagadi Kibaale Community (KKC) radio in Kibaale district, then FDC president Kizza Besigye had his live talk show end prematurely after the radio eventually went off air.

Besigye and Mugisha Muntu were cleared by police to hold rallies across the country, it is not clear why the government would prevent him from holding a radio talk show.

Relatedly, Muntu was also barred by police today from accessing Kabale referral hospital whose conditions are said to be worrying.

Maternal deaths are being reported at the hospital to the extent that people were forced to protest and mobilise to attack nurses with pangas.

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