Uganda: CBS Must Say Sorry – Museveni

Regulation & Policy

President Yoweri Museveni wants the Central Broadcasting Services (CBS), the Buganda kingdom owned radio station, to apologise before it is reopened. CBS was shut down by the Broadcasting Council on September 11, shortly after violent riots erupted in parts of Buganda, over sectarianism and promoting hatred.

Museveni, during his two-day tour to promote the Prosperity for All programme in Mpigi district, said the issue was discussed during a Cabinet meeting last week. He told a rally at Mpenja in Gomba that they put conditions for the reopening because the Government was tired of the presenters' bad manners, "especially of telling lies".

"CBS had gone off track and I was starting to wonder why the Kabaka had allowed ill-mannered people to penetrate the radio. The Government is going to give conditions for its re-opening and it is the choice of the radio's administrators to put them into consideration." He was responding to area MP Rosemary Najjemba, who said her voters keep demanding for the reopening of CBS.

The President said: "I will order the reopening of CBS when Mengo implements the conditions given by the Government." The Cabinet last week asked for an apology and wants CBS employees to drop all court proceedings against the Government. Other conditions are the relocation of the CBS studios from Bulange, the seat of the Buganda kingdom, and adherence to the broadcasting standards, including purging programmes that incite violence and disorder.

Museveni said he ordered the closure of CBS because it was abusive and sowing hatred, adding that opportunists were using it to drag the Kabaka into politics.

He stressed that it was wrong for the Kabaka to allow the presenters abuse and undermine the Government. "If I, the President, can sieve what I say, why can't a mere radio station?" Museveni said. "Do you want me to hit back and abuse the Kabaka?"

New Vision 28th January 2010