Arua RDC Bans Radio Station from Hosting Opposition Politicians

2469 Views Arua, Uganda
The Arua Resident District Commissioner, Ibrahim Abiriga, has ordered a radio to immediately stop hosting, on its programs, politicians from the opposition. In a letter dated May 26th, Abiriga names four particular opposition politicians who must stop being given airtime on the Arua radio station, Nile FM. They are parliamentary contenders Bernard Atiku from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Nelson Cemari of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC). Others are former ambassador, Harold Acema and Kamure Titia, both UPC supporters. Abiriga claims that the four men have criminal records, but he doesn't elaborate on what the accusations against them are. He warns that he will sue Nile FM if it continues to host the politicians. Atiku, Cemari, Acema and Titia are regular guests on Nile FM's Saturday morning political talk show, The Boiling Point. Last month the host of The Boiling Point, Clement Aluma, was summoned by the police to respond to accusations that he and his guest, Kamure Titia, had made sedition statements against President Yoweri Museveni. The accusation was based on comments made by Titia that the President is using guerilla tactics in the creation of new districts. Aluma and Titia ignored the summons, stating that there was no basis for the accusations against them. Aluma claims that the police have been badgering him to sign a statement, which he did not write that would implicate him in a crime. The RDC, who was behind the summons, has not forgotten the snub and appears determined to halt all discussion by opposition politicians on Nile FM. Kenneth Sebinya, the acting manager of Nile FM, says his station does not intended to heed to Ibrahim Abiriga's demands. He says the station will open its doors to politicians of all political persuasion. Bernard Atiku, one of the banned radio panelists, says the RDC's directive is an abuse of the right of all Ugandans to free speech. He says Abiriga is intent on gagging the free press in Arua.