Uganda: 10 Television And Radio Stations to Be Set Up Countrywide

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Ten television and radio stations will be set up countrywide, Uganda’s Parliament heard last week. The stations will be in Arua, Gulu, Soroti, Mbale, Kampala, Jinja, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Kabale and Hoima districts, said Kirunda Kivejinja, the third deputy Prime Minister and minister of information.

This, he said, would be implemented under a two-year plan to enable the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) operate as a public national broadcaster. He said qualified people would be recruited and trained to serve the stations. Under the plan, UBC would form a broadcasting network with the 35 transmission stations countrywide. "Because of budgetary constraints, I asked the UBC board to look for innovative ways to generate finances for the plan," he said.

Kivejinja, who was responding to questions raised by Kinkizi East MP, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi (NRM), denied reports that the UBC television studio was dilapidated. Baryomunsi wanted to know why the television station had one studio. The minister said the Government owed the London-based Well Trade Services $4m. The company was contracted to relocate the television station from Nakasero. The contract, Kivejinja said, included repair and refurbishment of equipment that needed upgrading, supplying new equipment and renovating the studios and other facilities.

"The failure to complete what would have been a key project for UBC TV affected the construction of modern facilities." Cecilia Ogwal (independent) shocked the House when she said a secretary general of the Workers Union collapsed in the studio some time back because of too much heat. "We were running out of breath by the time he collapsed."

New Vision (Kampala) 8 May 2008