Uganda: UBC says broadcasters will lose licences if they fail to meet licence conditions

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THE Uganda Broadcasting Council will not renew the licenses of broadcasters who do not stick to the stipulated licence conditions. In a Thursday statement, the chairman of the council, Godfrey Mutabazi, said the penalty was aimed at promoting high quality broadcasting. "If you do not serve the public the way we expect, then there is no reason why your license should be renewed."

Mutabazi said some radio stations broadcast content that was different from what was authorised. The Council is the main regulatory body that licenses broadcasting services in Uganda. A broadcaster is required to renew his or her license annually.

The Council's Secretary, Kagole Kivumbi, warned broadcasters who had not renewed their licenses to do so before August 1. Some radio stations, Kivumbi noted, were licensed some time back but had not yet started their operations. He warned that their licenses would not be renewed.

The electronic media have been criticised by President Yoweri Museveni for discussing "non-developmental issues. Museveni said NRM would set up a radio station to counter lies by detractors.

New Vision (Kampala) 28 July 2008