May 28, 2013

Lawyer Sues UCC, ED Over Media Closure

The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has been sued for among others disciplining ‘errant’ media houses that would not adhere to the minimum broadcasting standards while reporting on the General David Sejusa saga.  UCC ED Godfrey Mutabazi

UCC ED Godfrey Mutabazi

The suit was filed today before the High Court in Kampala by a concerned city advocate, Brian Ogago Abangi.

In his affidavit, Abangi says that the 14th day of May 2013, UCC unlawfully decided to discipline errant media houses that would not adhere to the minimum broadcasting standards in respect to coverage of the events on Gen. David Sejusa.

Abangi further notes that on May 17 2013, UCC unlawfully made a decision and set the local content quotas to which all broadcasters are to comply effective January 1st 2014.

Also sued is the UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi.

According to the concerned lawyer, the resolutions by UCC to warn the alleged errant media houses were passed without being backed by the Board, which action, he says is illegal.

This suit comes just over a week after the police closed four media houses, in search for the letter authored by Gen. Sejusa alleging a plan by President Yoweri Museveni to eliminate top government and army officials who are opposed to Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba becoming president. Muhoozi, the commander of the Special Forces, is Museveni’s son.

The closed media houses include Daily Monitor and its sister radio stations, KFM and Dembe FM, as well as the Red Pepper.

Turning his guns on Mutabazi, the petitioner claims he is illegally in office since his appointment as Executive Director in 2010, was without a substantive Board.

The petitioner is seeking court orders to issue an injunction stopping Mutabazi from occupying that office.

He further claims Mutabazi’s decision to run single handedly all the institutions of UCC is unlawful as he is usurping the powers of the board, which includes the powers to make decisions.

Court is yet to summon UCC and Mutabazi to file in their defense before a hearing date can be fixed.

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