By Watchdog reporter
Uganda Communications Commission has banned social critic Frank Gashumba from appearing on NTV Uganda, or else the regulator will revoke its license.
A letter instructing NTV general manager to stop hosting the Sisimuka Uganda boss was written on October 10, 2016 by Fred Otunnu, acting for UCC Executive Director.
Mr Otunnu wrote saying that NTV breached minimum standards of broadcasting when it hosted Mr Gashumba.
“The investigations conducted by the Commission have found that the profane and abusive language used during the programme is in breach of the section 29(a) and section 31 of the Uganda Commissions Act 2013, and does not deserve to be on the air waves” the warning letter read in part.
“The Commission therefore directs you to stop broadcasting of such programmes with immediate effect,” Otunnu added in a letter copied to the minister of Information and ICT.
The letter however didn’t go well with Mr Gashumba the subject of the letter, especially because he was not copied into the communication.
He responded on his Facebook page giving background to UCC reaction but warning about the actions of UCC.
Below is Gashumba’s response to the letter:
“In September this year, NTV hosted me as a guest analyst on the station’s evening Luganda news bulletin, ‘NTV Akawungeezi’ to basically give an analysis of a topic that was decided by the NTV’s news department.
As usual, I am always plain and clear and give my views, opinions and analysis where any ordinary person would clearly internalize exactly what is going on in our country.
I am not a factory, I do not sugarcoat anything; if you ask for my opinion, that is what you get…my head is not powered by anyone. If I was meant to be controlled, I would have been created with a remote control.
A week back, a source within the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) intimated to me that UCC had warned NTV not to dare host me again and if they did not heed to the directives, they would revoke their license.
This is how far our country has gone!
When did UCC become a complainant? When did UCC become an investigator, court and a judge?
In any case if I had committed any crime in any of my submissions, I would have expected the Police to summon me!
Who conducted the investigations that found that I was using an abusive language? And how come NTV that hosted me is cautioned and I the purported offender have not been cautioned!
I suspect small vampires who have participated in looting and mismanaging our country for many years, are using UCC to fight our freedom of expression.
But I can assure you, nobody can stop us and we shall not give up on our country.
These people seem to forget that we have the social media and with this letter, I am going to act like a wounded buffalo!
The government has people like Ofwono Opondo, Col. Shaban Bantariza, and the Minister for Information (who are always on TVs, Radios and in papers on a daily basis) among other forms of government public relations. Does this make me stronger than the entire government media arms?
And to you media houses, if you abide by such primitive and cowardly orders, you will be setting a wrong precedent.
It such a directive today, tomorrow they will order you to fire a news anchor for always putting on blue!
Fellow Ugandans, share with me your opinions! Should we simply give up on our fundamental rights or we petition the constitutional court?