3 January 2007

Uganda: 140 Radio, Tv Stations Face Closure

Kampala — OVER 140 radio and television stations face closure for failure to register with the Media Council as required by the Electronic Media Statute 1996.

Alfred Wasike reports that there are 150 radio and 13 television stations in the country.

Only 13 radio stations including Beat FM, Capital FM, Central Broadcasting Service, Choice FM, Dembe FM, East African Radio, Kampala FM, Mama FM, Power FM, Voice of Life FM and Voice of Teso registered.

According to a December 22, 2006 letter the Media Council secretary, Paul Mukasa, wrote to the Broadcasting Council secretary, Katongole Kivumbi, only East African TV fulfiled the requirement.

The letter was titled "Renewal of license to telephone/radio stations by the Broadcasting Council"

"You are aware of the statutory provision of the Electronic Media Statute 1996; Section 4 that requires radio and television stations to register their editors and apparatus with the Media Council.

"Over time, the Media Council has sought to prevail on the numerous stations to fulfil this statutory obligation with little success. Only 13 out of almost 100 stations have been compliant," Mukasa wrote.

The letter added: "The Media Council, during the plenary session held on December 14 decided to contact you (Broadcasting Council) as a sister organisation to enforce this legal provision by renewing the licenses of only those stations that have fulfiled this obligation."

According to Mukasa, the stations face closure because they were licensed by the Broadcasting Council to operate but did not register with the council as required by law.

Kivumbi said: "We shall only renew licenses of stations that have proof that they have complied with the Media Council."

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