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CBS told to move out of Bulange

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd January 2010 03:00 AM

THE government has set tough conditions for the re-opening of Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) radio, including moving out of Bulange, the seat for the Mengo government.

THE government has set tough conditions for the re-opening of Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) radio, including moving out of Bulange, the seat for the Mengo government.

By Felix Osike and Raymond Baguma

THE government has set tough conditions for the re-opening of Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) radio, including moving out of Bulange, the seat for the Mengo government.

The licence of the Buganda kingdomowned radio station was revoked for allegedly inciting violence.

After a heated meeting at State House, Entebbe that lasted from 8:00pm on Thursday to 3:30am on Friday, the Cabinet resolved that the radio management must apologise for inciting violence and civil unrest.

CBS was shut down by the Broadcasting Council, following violent riots in Buganda on September 11, in which over 27 people died, while scores were injured, with property destroyed.

This was after the Government blocked Buganda’s traditional leader, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, from visiting Kayunga for the Buganda youth day celebrations.

Sources said the meeting, chaired by President Yoweri Museveni, considered a report by a Cabinet committee, which looked into CBS affairs and adopted its recommendations.

An 11-member Cabinet sub-committee, headed by ICT minister Aggrey Awori, sought opinions within Buganda, on the closure and reopening of the station. Other committee members were ministers Namirembe Bitamazire, Rukia Chekamondo, Sulaiman Madada, Kabakumba Masiko and Khidu Makubuya.

Another condition is that CBS employees must drop all the pending court proceedings against the Government.

A group of the radio station’s workers have sued the Government over the closure.

Through their lawyers Katende, Ssempebwa & Co. Advocates, the workers say they were rendered jobless by closing the station. They also argue that since the closure, the station has recorded financial losses and is seeking compensation.

In addition, the Cabinet resolved that CBS must meet the minimum broadcasting standards set out in the Electronic Media Statute 1996.

According to the Broadcasting Council, CBS and other three radio stations (Akaboozi ku Bbiri, Radio Sapientia and Suubi FM) violated the minimum standards, which bar them from broadcasting programmes
that promote the culture of violence or ethnical prejudice among the public.

According to the statute, the programmes must also be free from distortion of facts, not create public insecurity or violence and must be balanced to ensure “They have to meet the conditions in the electronic media statute before they are licensed again,” said a source.

Besides, the Cabinet also resolved that CBS must move its studios away from Bulange. “They must de-link themselves from the kingdom if they want to operate smoothly,” added another source.

After the stormy meeting, a sub-committee, chaired by Awori was formed to work out the final cabinet position, which will be communicated to CBS management. Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya and local government minister Adolf Mwesige are other members of the sub-committee.

Sources added that a few ministers wanted CBS re-opened immediately, fearing that the continued closure would make the ruling party unpopular in Buganda. But the majority view, according to the sources, said they must meet the conditions first.

CBS told to move out of Bulange

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