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UCC, UBC lock horns over ‘redundant’ broadcast channels

UBC head offices

The Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation (UBC) has dismissed as “fake news” a recent claim by the Uganda Communications Commission executive director that it has redundant radio and television frequency channels.

Mr. Winston Agaba, the UBC managing director says that the national broadcaster doesn’t have any non-operating frequencies on its spectrum. “All our channels are operating, the claims that we have redundant channels are fake news,” Mr. Agaba said in a phone interview Monday morning.

UCC Executive Director Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi while appearing before the parliamentary ICT committee on Friday said that the commission will revoke redundant frequency channels belonging to UBC and give them to Parliament’s planned radio station.

“Parliament radio will broadcast on one of UBC’s ‘redundant’ frequencies,” Mr Mutabazi told MPs. Added Mutabazi, “Parliament [Radio] station will take some of UBC redundant channels because all frequencies on the frequency modulation spectrum for Kampala are taken.”

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In February this year, Mr Chris Obore, the Director for Communication and Public Affairs at Parliament said that parliament needs a platform which will enable it to provide continuous coverage of proceedings in the chambers, committees and related field activities.

He explained that private stations cannot give parliament 24-hour coverage because they equally have obligations outside parliament.

The radio, which will cost Shs350m, is to be set up in the Parliament’s basement. The establishment of the radio is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme.

There are more than 100 radio stations in Uganda, most of which are based in Kampala. According to the 2014 Population and Housing census, radio is the most popular form of mass media in Uganda.

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