KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has accepted to meet broadcasters under their umbrella National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to discuss his government advertisement directive that was ring-fenced to Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation – UBC and Vision Group.
This triggered not only the banning coverage of government activities but also NAB wrote to the President to reconsider his directive.
They also wrote to the Prime Minister, the Minister of ICT & National Guidance, and to the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury protesting the same.
Presidential directed that”…..all Government advertising must be through the Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation.
The President stated in his said directive that UBC is indebted, and that there are some allegations of inefficiencies in its management that will be addressed at an appropriate time.
NAB says that the attempt to convert UBC into a media agency in a competitive sector in which UBC is also a participant will not only be illegal but unfair and unjust to the Independent and free media.
According to Joseph Beyanga, NAB, Secretary-General, Museveni has agreed to meet them to find an amicable solution.
“This is to inform you that we have received a letter from the Principal Private Secretary to H.E the President confirming a meeting between H.E the President and the NAB Executive on the 10th day of August, 2023 to find an amicable solution and we appreciate the gesture.”
Whilst they await the said meeting, NAB decided to maintain the status quo as follows;
The ban/blackout on the coverage of government activities, any government official and/or event will and still continues until a further communication is made after the said meeting with H.E the President.
“We are aware that there are NAB members with existing framework Contracts/Agreements with various government institutions that are legally binding, such contracts may continue and be implemented.”
They noted that the Government officials may be hosted at the media house’s discretion for purposes of balancing the news and panels only in compliance with respective editorial policies, and Minimum Broadcasting Standards and to give value to the audience, but not to communicate government projects, initiatives, campaigns and plans.
“There shall be no free airtime consideration on Radios, Online and Television stations to any government official across the country including RDCS, RCCS, LCs, etc.