Opinion: Museveni “owns” the airwaves

The ones who believes the campaigns or the rallies or anything associated with the 2021 General Elections will be free and fair? Who are we kidding here. The National Association of Broadcasters sent a letter to the Uganda Communication Commission on the 20th November 2020 because of the announcement of a National Address every Sunday by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Therefore, announcing that he would have the whole broadcast and all channels with his speeches.

The letter from NAB is fine by itself. However, it will not amount to anything. The ideals behind is fine. Nevertheless, the system is for Museveni and Museveni alone. To think otherwise in 2020 is naive. The UCC and Radio Stations have been cut mid-broadcast because an opposition candidate is speaking. Radios have blocked and not been allowed to air opposition candidates. Secondly, the UCC have sent out Memo’s warning people for having Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine on air. Therefore, this enterprise futile.

NAB means well and the ideal is good. Still, we know it won’t amount to anything. The UCC and the other authorities will digress and configure, mellow the reason and find a short-cut to make sound reasonable. When we all know that this is only to batter his message. No matter if it is profound, sincere or real at all.

Museveni and the National Resistance Movement aren’t even trying to play fair. They are not even faking fairness in campaigns. They are upper blocking, rigging and ensuring the opposition doesn’t have the abilities or the option to campaign like they do. The President can smile and grin. He can be all hospitable. While his law enforcement and soldiers are killing people in the streets. Therefore, the man that doesn’t bat an eye over the deaths.

Do you think he will care about fairness in the media and in publications?

This man will use all tools. No matter what. The man will use force, take the opportunity and have long speeches. He had the COVID-19 speeches. Several of them. Actually, he had around 20 of them. It was a running series. The old man miss it so much. That he has to reinvent it.

The lectures of old. The fear and intimidation, every single Sunday. The old man will be on the screens, on the radios and online. Speaking his ruthless and reckless behaviour. Expecting to be honoured like a Statesman, but acting like mobster. He easily get hostile and grabs the guns. So, don’t expect positive messaging.

The man need to show that he has the guns, the authorities and the total power. Yes, he does “own” the airwaves. However, he doesn’t own people’s mind. This is why we don’t have to listen. Don’t even have to turn it on. Just let it all go. He has said everything before… it is recycling and repetition. The boring lecturer that makes you fall asleep in class. That is the sort of affair and the spectacle his serving. Only his minions will sprinkle some additional spices and call it feast. Even when know its not worthy the price.

The old man would be better just being on the campaign trail and being amongst his own. Instead, of spewing garbage every Sunday. However, the broadcasters has no choice. Because, if they defy the man. He will revoke their license and their doors will be bolted shut. That is the game he plays and he doesn’t care. Peace.

UCC letter to NAB: Directive to some Broadcasters about breach of Minimum Broadcasting Standards (07.05.2019)

Makerere University – Department of Journalism and Communication: The Media is a Development Partner and Not Enemy of Government (07.05.2019)

Uganda Law Society Statement on the Uganda Communication Commission’s Directive to Media Houses (04.05.2019)

Joint local statement on restrictions to freedom of Expression and Assembly in Uganda (03.05.2019)

Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Uganda (FCAU): Press Statement (03.05.2019)

Joint Statement: UCC’s Strangehold on Freedom of Expression is Illegitimate (02.05.2019)

National Asssociation Broadcasters letter to Uganda Communications Commission Executive Director Mutabazi: “RE: Repeated Breach of Minimum Broadcasting Standards” (02.05.2019)

Uganda Parliamentary Press Association: The Madness of Godfrey Mutabazi must be stopped (02.05.2019)

UCC goes rouge on 13 media houses on Labour Day!

Some days are supposed to be sleepy, nearly nothing happening. Your hearing crickets and birds chirping outside the window. Usually, the 1st of May, every year is a bit slow, if your not participating in marches, rallies or collective state sponsored gatherings, where-ever they are. However, today the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has gone rouge, they are really going all out on media. In a sense that isn’t to monitor their broadcast, but more to silence the ones who speaks up on behalf of the Opposition.

Earlier today, three employees at the NBS Television was suspended by the UCC, it is now later revealed, that this was just the beginning, as the state and UCC wanted to show no remorse or inaction. As their loyalty to the President goes beyond ordinary measures. They are just taking away people’s livelihoods without any question. Just suspending the ones in-charge of programmes and productions at 13 media houses of different capacity. Certainly, this a retaliation of some sort.

Some are saying the NBS Television was suspended because of their broadcasting of the trial of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine earlier this week. That is most likely the reason for all of this, since the leadership and regime at this current is very vindictive of the people, who are spreading the message of any serious opposition leader.

Here is the recent post from the UCC:

The Uganda Communications Commission (The Commission) has directed the suspension of Producers, Head of News and Head of Programmes in the following broadcasting stations; AKABOOZI FM, BBS TV, BEAT FM, BUKEDDE TV, CAPITAL FM, CBS FM, KINGDOM TV, NBS TV, NTV, PEARL FM, SALT TV, SAPIENTIA FM and SIMBA FM. 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 Commission observes that these programmes contain content that:- 1. Misrepresents information, views, facts and events in a manner likely to mislead or cause alarm to the public. 2. Has extremist or anarchic messages, including incitement of violence for political and/or other purposes. 3. Incites the public against other members of the public based on their political, religious, cultural and tribal affiliations which are likely to create public insecurity or violence” (Uganda Communications Commission – ‘SUSPENDED – REPEATED BREACH OF MINIMUM BROADCASTING STANDARDS’ 01.05.2019).

This is a very common pattern of the state, where the ones broadcasting the possible message or spreading their views to much. Now, that they did broadcast and spell out the acts against Bobi Wine on the 29th April 2019. They have clearly done to much of it. This has insulted the intelligence of the UCC and the President himself. Surely, his seen and heard this and haven’t enjoyed the broadcast. As they are supposed to spread his views and stories, not the ones of the opposition. Surely, they are so heartbroken, that they had to send this message more clearly to the Media Houses.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President wants his messages spread, not the ones of dissidents. That is why the state is doing this. To send a MEMO to the OWNERS, whose in control and what they can do. If they don’t sensitize the public the way they want it to be done. So, they now have to keep to this memo, if doing otherwise. Only the within the small measures, which is not taking it to far. Like they did on the 29th April 2019 and even after. Peace.