Security personnel on Thursday night switched off Hope Radio in Kabale municipality. The radio was hosting Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party leaders.
The leaders were Dr. Kizza Besigye the former FDC president, Ingrid Turinawe, the FDC Chairperson of the Women’s League, Patrick Amuriat Oboi, the party President, William Nzoghu, the Busongora North Member of Parliament and Roland Mugume Kaginda, the Member of Parliament for Rukungiri Municipality who is also the FDC’s Deputy President in Charge of Western region.
They had returned from Rubanda district to launch the revival of the party’s grass root mobilisation campaign.
The two-hour talk show which started at 7:30 pm had lasted for only 30 minutes.
Allan Twongyeirwe, the talk-show host says that before the show started, he received a phone call from Darius Nandiinda, the Kabale Resident District Commissioner ordering him not to host the FDC leaders.
Twongyeirwe also says that he was surprised when the radio lost the signal during the show.
According to Twongyeirwe, Nandiinda had ordered Uganda People Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers at 19th Battalion in Kihumuro hill, where transmitter and the Mast are installed, to switch off the radio.
The radio is owned by Bishop Aloysius Kiiza, the Bishop of Lift Up Jesus Ministries. It covers the entire Kigezi sub-region, parts of Ankole, Northern Rwanda and Tanzania and the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr. Joseph Tindyebwa, the FDC Deputy National Secretary General in Charge of Policy and Research says that the radio was switched off after Besigye was explaining how Former Hong Kong Home Affairs minister Patrick Ho Chi-ping was recently handed a three year sentence in United States of America after he was found guilty of offering a $500,000 bribe to Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa and $2 million to Chad’s President Idriss Deby.
The radio station was later switched on at 8:30 pm after the Besigye and his group had left.
Nandiinda declined to comment on the matter when contacted.
In September 2017, Besigye was blocked from entering voice of Kigezi to conduct a live show on land matters. Radio Management argued that they had been directed by Nandiinda not to allow him to appear on the airwaves.
In July 2015, the MP for Jinja Municipality West who also doubles as NRM Chairman for the district Moses Balyeku ordered staff at his Baba FM to switch off the radio station which had started to transmit a live talk show where Besigye had gone to feature as a guest.
In November 2009, Besigye was blocked from appearing on Nenah FM in Karamoja to address the public. In May 2007, the Kitgum-based Kitti FM was switched off air 30 minutes after Besigye had started speaking on the radio’s talk-show. The radio’s generator was switched off, reportedly on the orders of the then area RDC.