UCC estimates that there are over 100 illegal radio operators in the country
UCC head of public relations, Pamela Ankunda addresses the media at the commission's offices in Bugolobi while the head of legal services, Abudu Salamu, looks on. Photo by Tony Rujuta
Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has asked Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and Internal Security Organisation (ISO) officers to crack the whip on mushrooming illegal radio broadcasting in the country.
UCC's onslaught on media has come after a Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate, James Mawanda Ereemye, recently convicted Gerald Ssemwanga, for operating a radio station without a license from the regulator.
"Following this precedent, we have asked other Government agencies and stakeholders through the Office of the President to support this operation. Anyone found breaking the law will be dealt with," said Godfrey Mutabazi, the executive director of UCC, in a statement issued today.
UCC estimates that there are over 100 illegal radio operators in the country.
According to Pamela Ankunda, the communication director at UCC, who read the statement on behalf of Mutabazi, the regulator has crafted in ISO and RDCs in the monitoring and enforcement of the broadcast regulation, in order to track illegal media houses that are clandestinely operating in the country.
Mutabazi said Ssemwanga was arrested on May 19 after UCC's compliance and investigation unit received complaints from residents of Mutundwe.
"He was broadcasting using a mixer-amplifier that he had connected to 8 cone loud speakers," he said, emphasising that broadcasting without a license violates the UCC Act.
The Chief Magistrate sentenced Ssemwanga to two months in jail for installing broadcast equipment without a license contrary to section 26 of the UCC Act.