The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has lifted the suspension of the broadcasting license of Radio Hoima.
According to Radio Hoima’s director and station manager, Mr Jorocome Bamwenda , the radio was reconnected on Monday after it had been switched off on Saturday by the communications regulator.
“We were switched off because there was an issue to resolve between Radio Hoima and UCC. Sometimes, UCC is misinformed by politicians or competitors. We met with UCC directors and cleared the issues which needed clarification and we are happy that we were reconnected,” Bamwenda told the Daily Monitor on Tuesday.
He thanked the UCC executive director for having cooperated in a positive way.
In a letter dated May 25th, 2017, addressed to the Radio Hoima managing director, the UCC executive director Mr Godfrey Mutabazi indicated that they had received numerous complaints about the content of some of the programmes being broadcast.
According to Mr Mutabazi, the complainants have expressed concern that Radio Hoima is hosting members of the public calling themselves BUKITAREPA who are uttering statements that are sectarian, inciteful and promoting ethnic prejudice.
Bunyoro Kitara Reparation Agency (BUKITAREPA) is a pro-Bunyoro heritage agency pushing for redress of Bunyoro’s colonial and present injustices.
Read: UCC closes Radio Hoima
The radio station which is located along Wright Road in Hoima town broadcasts on a frequency of 88.6. It is a pioneer radio in Bunyoro region which started broadcasting in 1999.
“The main issue was the audio recording which did not originate from us. After knowing the source of the audio, Radio Hoima was advised on how to handle the above,” Bamwenda said.
The UCC head of corporate affairs Mr Fred Otunu said officials from the radio explained that their broadcast was meant to demonstrate the dangers of divisive messages that were recorded in a meeting.
“It wasn’t intended to perpetuate or promote sectarian broadcasting.
The radio was re-opened with a caution that extra care should be made while broadcasting any content including that recorded outside the radio,” Otunu said.
In his letter Mutabazi said the commission had confirmed that the statements made during the programmes were sectarian, and promote violence and ethnic prejudice amongst the public, contrary to the minimum broadcasting standards as provided for in section 31 and schedule 4 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013.
Bamwenda said the radio has preached peace and harmony since its time of inception to date.