Wave of sanctions against media in Uganda
Ugandan authorities ordered 13 radio and television stations to suspend those journalists of media in Uganda for reporting on an opposition leader, MP Kagulanyi Robert, aka Bobi Wine.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has ordered 13 news organizations, including television and radio stations, to suspend their main producers and directors of news and programs because of the way in which media in Uganda covered a protest by supporters of Bobi Wine and his arrest last Monday. The Ugandan Media Regulatory Authority states that radio and television stations must suspend the thirty-nine employees within three days.
The UCC accuses media outlets of “distorting information” and inciting violence by spreading “extremist or anarchic messages.” The institution claims that the live broadcast of the events “did not respect the minimum standards of diffusion”.
Targeted media in Uganda include NBS Television, Bukedde TV, NTV, CBS FM, and Capital FM.
Meanwhile, Bobi Wine appeared in court this morning after being accused of “disobedience to legal duty” following a protest last year against a tax on the use of social media in Uganda.
The police warned that the protests planned during his appearance in court were illegal and that the political groups that organized them would not be tolerated.
The Ugandan authorities seem to be trying to eclipse the pop star and opposition MP by muzzling the media and punishing the stations that give him media coverage. His popularity among young Ugandans makes him a threat to President Yoweri Museveni – thirty-five years of power – who is expected to run for office again in 2021.