By Betty Amamukirori
HIGH Court Judge, Justice Yasin Nyanzi has summoned UCC to attend a court hearing on application where a city lawyer, Enoth Mugabi filed against them concerning digital migration.
Justice Nyanzi has set July 13, for the hearing of the application which is seeking an interim order restraining Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) from stopping broadcasters from transmitting analogue TV signals until determination of the main suit.
Mugabi wants court to issue an interim order against broadcasters stopping them from obeying UCCs’ commands to transmit digital Television signals to the public.
He also wants court to issue an order directing broadcasters of analogue TV signals to join the case.
He claims that UCC has no evidence of a treaty and treaty instruments and municipal ratification papers governing the migration.
This application comes two days after Mengo chief Magistrates Court overturned its earlier orders directing UCC to immediately switch back to analogue, because it lacked the jurisdiction to handle the application.
Janeva Natukunda, the principle grade one magistrate immediately struck off the main suit that was pending hearing, after ruling that the court could not hear the application filed by the lawyer.
This prompted Mugabi to file the suit and the main application yesterday, in the civil court for a proper hearing.
In his suit, Mugabi alleges that he was aggrieved by UCC’s move to migrate from analogue to digital transmission yet he prefers the old signal transmission to the digital one that requires him to pay subscription fee.
Through Muyanja Associates, Advocates, Solicitors and Legal Consultants, Mugabi accuses UCC of not owning any broadcasting equipment and intimidating broadcasters into silence.
“Broadcasters are in fear of UCC and thus are unable to litigate to protect their own legal and constitutional rights,” he alleges.
The switch from analogue to digital transmission was as a result of UCC complying with the June 17 digital switch deadline, according to the guidelines of the International Telecommunications Union.
Under analogue, TV stations carry their own signals but under digital migration, they surrendered the role to signet, an affiliate body of the Uganda broadcasting Corporation (UBC) that does uniform transmission to a wider continuum.
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Court summons UCC over digital migration