UCC starts harassing radios that host Mirundi


UCC Boss Godfrey Mutabazi

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has started harassing city radios that host Senior Presidential Advisor on Media, Tamale Mirundi.

Mirundi has been in the news for exposing “thievery” at State House led by Brig Proscovia Nalweyiso and Maj Edith Nakalema.

His refusal to join a plot that fleeced President Yoweri Museveni Shs4bn social media money, later cost Tamale his job as presidential press secretary.

All these revelations are contained in recordings of Tamale addressing listeners on radio talk shows.

According to letters from UCC to the respective radio stations, the regulatory body is bent on clamping down on these radios’ programmes in order to stop Mirundi from exposing more State House dirt.

UCC has written to radio stations that normally host the president’s dog demanding the content of all programmes in which he appears.

UCC claims to have received a complaint on the content in radios where Mirundi usually appears as a guest speaker.

“The commission has initiated investigations into the said complaints…”reads the letter in part.

Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC Executive Director, quotes section 29 of the Uganda communications act, 2013, directing the radios to submit recordings of the programmes aired during the month of July 2015 to him without delay.

“The said recordings should be submitted no later than Thursday the 30th of July 2015,” he directed.

This comes at a time government is accused of clamping down on radios to avoid opposition criticism and silence the masses.

Weeks ago, Baba FM in Jinja was put off air for hosting FDC strongman, Kizza Besigye, and its employees fired.

UCC came out very first to deny putting the radio off air.

Another radio in Hoima had also lost a Programs Manager for hosting opposition leaders.

Empty social media talk

A week or so back, Fred Otunnu is Acting Director for Broadcasting at UCC, addressed a social media conference in Kampala.

He said social media was a platform that has been embraced by a certain generation of people but provides a platform for all and “equally”.

“It is incumbent upon government institutions especially to use this platform effectively. Let us all use this platform equally, responsibly for the benefit of all,” he urged.

Otunnu said there has been a lot of bias, prejudice in the area of jihad, adding that “A dot, comma can actually mislead”.

He said UCC does not monitor social media but police is going to put in place a unit in charge of social media.

Yet the same regulatory body not long ago appeared in the news for trying to persuade Facebook officials to clampdown on the biggest social media platform in the world.

UCC has been accused by sections of society for acting as “a toothless dog” and failing to regulate telecom companies like MTN that fleece Ugandans of billions of money.

While police readies to regulate social media, the president himself was quoted threatening to arrest WhatsApp users he accused of misusing the platform.

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