By Andante Okanya
State broadcaster Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) has dropped the digital migration breach of contract case it filed against the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) at the High Court in Kampala.
According to court records, acting UBC managing director Paul Kihika in a letter addressed to the broadcaster's lawyer Henry Rwaganika dated October 17, 2012, instructed him to withdraw the case.
The letter filed at the court on Wednesday, explains that the dropping of the suit was based on advice of Justice Vincent Zehurikize who had earlier asked the two government bodies to reconcile, rather than clash.
"UBC management has unconditionally decided to discontinue the proceedings in the above suit and all attendant miscellaneous applications. This is therefore to instruct you to ensure that proceedings in the aforementioned suit is properly discontinued," the letter states.
Rwaganika was further instructed to ensure that a withdrawal consent order is signed and unconditionally endorsed by all the parties.
The letter is copied to the UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi, UCC lawyer Joseph Matsiko of Kampala Associated Advocates, and the deputy registrar High Court civil division Eudes Keitirima.
Prior, Justice Zehurikize had advised the warring parties to settle the dispute amicably by engaging the relevant government authorities like ministers. He said it is illogical for government bodies to get muddled in a bitter rift, yet they are expected to function harmoniously.
In the suit filed on October 4 at the High Court in Kampala, UBC accused UCC of terminating a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed this year on May 29. The MoU was terminated this year on August 21. According to the Digital Migration Policy for Uganda 2011, UBC was appointed sole signal provider for a five-year period.
UBC contended that the MoU stated that the broadcaster was tasked with installing equipment for the Digital Terrestrial Television Project for Greater Kampala. This was in line with the transition from analogue broadcasting format.
UBC also contended that UCC was to provide funding for the project, and that the two entities were to work jointly to ensure that the supplier responds to the project proposal requirements, and to procure the turnkey solution.