NTV Uganda Shut Down a Second Time

The Nation (Nairobi) reported on February 3rd that NTV Uganda has been switched off air for the second time in a week. The shutdown came at 9.10am on February 2nd, barely two days after its signal was reinstated by the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation.

The station had earlier been off air for four days after being shut down by the state-owned media house. NTV Uganda's transmitter at Kololo Hill was switched off by officers claiming to be from the Broadcasting Council, said NTV's General Manager Mr Victor Ngei. "The officers demanded access to the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) facility, which is temporarily hosting the NTV transmitter, switched it off and confiscated two microwave receivers," said Mr Ngei.

The council officials were identified as Mr Moses Tibamanya, who is the operation's officer and driver John Katula. The management of NTV Uganda told the Press in Kampala that the Council, which is in charge of regulating the media in Uganda, did not serve them with a seizure note, contrary to the Electronic Media Act.

Mr Ngei is seeking an explanation from UBC, as the owner of the premises in which NTV receivers were removed. NTV Uganda has also written to the Broadcasting Council, appealing for immediate re-instatement. Last week, NTV Uganda was switched off due to what the council referred to as "non-compliance to the industry's technical standards." UBC claimed at the time that the weight of the mast was a "safety risk". The guide mast, measuring 150 metres high hosts antennas of seven FM radio stations and two television stations at Kololo Hill. NTV Uganda has yet to receive formal communication from the council.

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