UCC closes Kanungu radio for ‘fueling public insecurity’

UCC closes Kanungu radio for 'fueling public insecurity'
Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director of UCC. Courtesy Photo.

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has shut down Kanungu Broadcasting Services (KBS) radio in Kanungu district over alleged breach of minimum broadcasting standards.

Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, the executive director of UCC wrote to city businessman, James Musinguzi Garuga, the managing director, Kanungu Broadcasting Services on October 20 directing him to cease operations effective immediately.

He accuses KBS of ignoring directives from UCC to stop the broadcast of certain programs that violate the minimum broadcasting standards. Mutabazi also accuses the radio station for failing to submitting recordings of the said programs as directed in the Commission letter dated October 17.

In the said letter, Mutabazi asked KBS to suspend the station manager, Ronalds Agaba alias Mwene Ngaro and Desmond Kyokwijuka Misri, the host of the Global Focus program and anchor of Rukiga news, who were accused of ‘fuelling public insecurity’.

He also asked management to suspend their programs and submit recordings of all broadcasts by the aforementioned presenters that aired over the past 30 days.

In his October 20 letter, Mutabazi warns that should KBS radio resume broadcasting operations without rectifying the above breaches and obtaining a valid broadcasting license, the Commission shall not hesitate to carry out further enforcement actions against it, including prosecution of its directors for illegal broadcast under section 27 (2) of the UCC Act 2013.

Garuga, the proprietor of the radio couldn’t be reached for a comment as his phones were switched off. One of the employees who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity blamed their woes on political intrigue.

He claimed that some National Resistance Movement (NRM) party leaders recently threatened to push for the closure of the station for allegedly giving platform to those against the presidential age limit removal.

KBS is a popular destination for opposition leaders targeting audiences in the districts of Kanungu, Rukungiri, Kabale and Kisoro.