The Uganda Communications Commission bans live broadcasts

The Uganda Communications Commission bans live broadcasts
The Uganda Communications Commission

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has banned the live broadcasting of events by television and radio stations in the country.

The ban is contained in a letter, dated September 26, 2017, issued by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi. The letter is addressed to all broadcasters.

“The commission has noted with concern that both radio and television broadcasting operators are relaying live broadcasts which are inciting the public, discriminating, stirring up hatred, promoting a culture of violence amongst the viewers and are likely to create public insecurity or violence,” the letter reads.

The commission directed that broadcasters immediately stop and refrain from broadcasting live feed which is in breach of the minimum broadcasting standards and the best practice guidelines for electronic media coverage, reporting and broadcasting of live events.

UCC Bans Live Broadcasts
UCC bans live broadcasts

The ban comes a day after televisions live broadcast chaos filled parliament proceeding as National Resistance Movement (NRM) members of parliament shoved opposition members who are trying to block the tabling of motion on the removal of the presidential age limit from the constitution.

Televisions have also been broadcasting protests in Kampala and across the country of protestors against the planned constitutional amendment, making them the primary source of information for Ugandans. For instance, people could be seen in Kampala yesterday gathering at places where they could get access to television to watch the live feed from parliament.

But Mutabazi says the broadcasts were in breach of minimum broadcasting standards as laid down in the Uganda Communications Act, 2013, and best practice guideline for electronic media coverage.

The standards require broadcasters to ensure that their programmes are not contrary to public morality, do not promote the culture of violence or ethnical prejudice among the public, are free from distortion of facts and are not likely to create public insecurity or violence.

Broadcasters are also required to be balanced to ensure harmony and schedule adult-oriented programmes appropriately.

Mutabaazi says the commission shall not hesitate to carry out enforcement for non-compliance adding that any further breach will result into suspension and revocation of licenses in accordance with section 41 of the UCC Act.