PAKWACH. Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the body that regulates all media houses in Uganda has come under pressure from the majority of radio station managers in Northern Uganda to scrap the free weekly government hour allocated for the office of the resident district commissioners (RDCs).
The media managers claimed that the designated one hour has been misused by some district officials.
They further alleged that some officials have continued to demand talk show recordings and receipts from radio stations and thereafter, claim money from their superiors for personal gain.
The aggrieved radio managers voiced the concern at the commission's regional office at Kabalega resort limited in Masindi district on Thursday.
The meeting attended by the top management of UCC was aimed at addressing challenges hindering adherence to minimum broadcasting standards.
During the meeting, Mr Hafiz Bahkit, a staff of Arua One Fm in Arua town said radio programs have been affected due to RDCs’ failure to turn up for their talk shows even without any prior communication.
It is for this reason that Mr Paul Mukasa, the manager content regulation at UCC said they have received a series of complaints from radio station managers across the country about the same concern.
"This program is squarely meant to popularize government programs but as a commission, we advise that you all have internal editorial policies that will help to avert such challenges," Mukasa said.
He added that should such irregularities persist, the commission will notify the Minister for Presidency about their impending plans to suspend the hour allocated to the office of the RDCs.
Mr Mukasa, however, emphasized the need for media houses to adhere to the minimum broadcasting standards to avoid cases of public insecurity.
"Avoid clashing with the RDCs and other internal security agencies for as a regulator, we shall intervene on matters of national security,” he warned.
Speaking on behalf of the Executive Director UCC, Mr Haruna Musinguzi said plans are underway to have a cordial meeting with the entrusted users of the government hour so as to have their side of the story before pronouncing their next decision.
But Musinguzi cautioned a section of journalists reporting stories that promote the culture of violence and ethical prejudice to desist from the practice.
"We can't allow the genocide that happened in Rwanda to take place here and this is a test to us the regulators," he said.