By Mark Kawalya
Six radio stations were shut down by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for broadcasting content without licenses. This is against Uganda’s 2013 Uganda Communications Laws, as detailed in the Uganda Communications Act, 2013. According to the law, it is forbidden for anyone to broadcast content without first acquiring a broadcasting license that has been approved by the UCC.
The penalty for breaking this law might be up to twenty-five currency points. The value of one currency point is established by Uganda’s finance ministry and serves as a benchmark when determining fines.
To calculate the fine for this infraction, the current value of a currency point would be used, and the total fine would be 25 times that amount. Alternately, the proprietors of penalized stations might face a year in prison, or even both.
“Notice of closure is hereby issued to the owners and management of the radio stations for repeated failure to obtain a valid broadcasting license from the Commission,” the UCC stated in a statement.
Divine Partners, Hot FM, Millenium Community Radio, Salt & Light Christian City Church, Mgahinga Investments, and Welsto Company Limited are among the radio stations that are impacted.
The Uganda Communications Act 2013 governs the establishment and operation of TV and radio stations in Uganda.
Players must obtain a license from the UCC in order to do this, and the UCC takes into account things like technical capacity, station location, social impact, and environmental assessment. It is illegal to violate this law, and those who represent corporate bodies are also accountable.
The Act allows for broadcasting but also mandates responsibility. It forbids taking any steps to stop broadcasting unless specifically permitted by law. The law also stipulates adherence to rules against the dissemination of obscene material and privacy breaches. Licence holders and producers are required to uphold broadcasting standards and values by making sure broadcasts adhere to public decency and keeping records for at least 60 days.
The UCC was established by the Uganda Communications Act 2013. The regulator is entrusted with creating a modern communications industry that offers services including radio communications, broadcasting, and telecommunications.