UCC Notice Drives NBS TV to Review Signature Program

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In short
The review follows a 60-day notice for the suspension of a broadcasting license issued by the commission to NBS TV for breaching minimum broadcasting standards.

NBS Television is reviewing its signature program 'One on One with Tamale Mirundi' to ensure that it is operated within guidelines as stipulated by the Uganda Communications Commission-UCC.

The review follows a 60-day notice for the suspension of a broadcasting license issued by the commission to NBS TV  for breaching minimum broadcasting standards.

The notice dated 11 May 2017, makes reference to NBS programme featuring presidential advisor Joseph Tamale Mirundi. In the letter, UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi says that the commission is appalled and takes strong exception to the conduct and language used by Tamale while on air.

It followed a talk show hosted on Tuesday May 9, in which Tamale Mirundi lost his temper and descended on the programme host Simon Muyanga Lutaaya, after he was questioned about copies of a lease application that were earlier seen circulating on social media.

On the programme, Tamale Mirundi angrily attacked Buganda Kingdom Officials as well as Buganda Land Board over the ongoing campaign dubbed 'Ekyaapa mu Ngalo'. The Campaign which is running for the next six months is aimed at strengthening security of tenure for tenants on the Kingdom land. Buganda Kingdom is using the drive to issue leasehold certificates of title to tenants on Kabaka's land.

Tamale was heard threatening to kill any person claiming that he has previously applied for leasehold on Buganda Kingdom Land. The commission observed that the abusive language used on the programme contravened public morality and promoted a culture of violence and ethnic prejudice.

However Kin Karisa, the Chief Executive Officer of NBS says that they have undertaken an internal review of the program and are now waiting to discuss it with Uganda Communications commission for advice on how to make it better while operating within minimum broadcasting standards.

Karisa says that the management of NBS TV is equally concerned over the strong language used by the guest. He reiterates that UCC has not stopped NBS TV from hosting Tamale but only challenged the media house to ensure that the program broadcast meets the basic minimum broadcasting standards.

UCC's Director for Corporate Affairs Fred Otunnu says that the notice issued to NBS TV is not about the personality but the content of the program. He adds that every licensee should be able to manage the person hosted.

"What if you stop that program and then such content contrary to minimum broadcasting standards are aired again? Tamale Mirundi is not barred, but he should be controlled by the Licensee" Otunnu stated.
Section 41, of the UCC act empowers the Commission to give any operator written notice of not less than 60 days in case of an impending suspension or revocation of a broadcasting license. During the period, the operator may make representations to the Commission to stop the action.