21 November 2018

Uganda: Lira Protests - Radio Stations Ordered to Hand Over Voice Recordings

Lira — The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has demanded that nine radio stations in northern Uganda reproduce voice recordings of all their programmes following the recent violent protests in Lira town and Kole District.

The radio stations include; Radio Wa, Radio Lira, Q FM, Voice of Lango, Kole, Rhino FM, Radio North, Rupiny FM, and Mega FM.

The executive director Uganda Commissions Commission Geoffrey Mutabazi said the commission has received complaints about the content and nature of programming broadcast by the radio stations.

"The complaints allege that your station has been broadcasting content that is promoting a culture of violence, ethnic prejudice and promoting hatred," he said in a letter dated November 19 addressed to the managing directors of the affected stations.

"The Commission has commenced investigations into the above allegations and in accordance with Section 29 (b) of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013; you are required to submit a copy of the content aired on your radio station from November 9, 2018 to November 19, 2018."

The copy of these recordings should be submitted to the Commission not later than 3pm on Wednesday November 21.

The voice recordings are the only evidence the radio stations have to substantiate claims that they incited violence leading to the protests in Lira. Five people were airlifted to Mulago hospital in Kampala after they were shot following the chaos in Lira town on Saturday.

The protests followed the death of an 11-year-old Dickens Okello, a Primary Three pupil of Alito Primary School in Kole District. It is alleged the victim was killed by two Indian nationals on November 9.

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