Broadcasters’ body cracks the whip on pastors over hate language

By Stephen Wandera:
wouma@ug.nation.com

Pastors promoting hatred along religious lines have been warned to desist from the practice or face prosecution.

According to Uganda Communications Commission, head legal, Mr Abdul Salam Waiswa, the commission receives about five complaints ever week against pastors for black mail and promoting sectarianism.

“There are churches that have radio stations and you find scenarios where pastors who own these stations use them for their own propaganda. They attack their opponents and incite their followers to commit crime. We have already summoned some and others are being investigated. Soon some are to be prosecuted,” Waiswa said.

Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual general meeting in Kampala on Thursday August 24, 2017, Mr Waiswa said according to the Computer Misuse Act 2011, Directorate of Public Prosecution licensed UCC to prosecute computer related cases.

We have the Utilities and Standards Wildlife Court at Buganda Road where we have already prosecuted some culprits who miss use computers, Mr Waiswa noted.

Community Radio Stations proprietor Pastor Joseph Sserwadda who was elected to NAB executive declined to comment on the issue when contacted. “Give time to think about it,” he said.

Mr Medi Kagwa, Head Multimedia and Content UCC said the organization is to withdraw renewed licenses from operators.

“All idol licenses are to be withdrawn and given to serious operators. So far about 50 operators are on the verge of losing their licenses. We are so considering issuing five years license instead of the annual license,” he said. Adding, “The commission is also considering to issue low frequency licenses to take care of illegally operated community radios that are run using public address systems.”

Mr Kagwa said unprofessional content aired on radio and television stations is one of the biggest challenge.

Mr Ssematimba Peter Vice Chairperson NAB promised training for journalists and presenters to improve content put out to the public.

Nile Broadcasting Service Mr Kin Kariisa was re-elected Chairman. Others are Mr Bill Tibaigana (Secretary) and Ms Besty Mugamba (Treasurer), Mr Joseph Beyanga (Group), Dr Innocent Nahabwe (Digital) and Mr Charles Hamya (Pay TV).

Regional representatives elected are Mr Jimmy Okello represents (north), Mr Julius Tumusime (western), Mr Antony Wayoto (eastern) and Mr Bills Nyatiya (central).

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