According to the suit documents seen by URN, the Busoga One Manager, Innocent Anyole, says in his affidavit that on January 14th 2021at around 6:30pm the radio station police officers besieged the station and immediately switched it off.
The Station was switched off from January 14th to 24th 2021
Radio Limited has jointly sued the government, Uganda Communications Commission
and Inspector General of Police for illegal closure of the station for ten days after the presidential
elections. The radio station through its lawyers of Galisonga and Company
Advocates has filed a suit before the High Court Civil Division in Kampala.
the suit documents seen by URN, the Busoga One Manager, Innocent Anyole, says
in his affidavit that on January 14th 2021 at around 6:30 pm police officers besieged the radio station and immediately switched it off. They then ordered the employees who were
going about their normal broadcasting duties to vacate the station
Anyole, who swore
the affidavit on January 22, 2021, contends that since then, the radio station
premises have been under the control of police officers who have blocked the
employees from accessing it. However, URN
has learnt that the officers have since left the premises and the station has
resumed its normal broadcast.
According to Anyole, the occupation of
the radio premises by police was illegal, unfair and an infringement on its
worker's economic rights, the right to practice their trade and to earn a living and
as such an infringement on their right life. Documents
before Court show that the decision to besiege the radio premises and switch it off was made
without a court order and efforts to establish who issued the orders proved
explains that he contacted Irene Kaggwa-Sewankambo, the
Executive Director UCC on the matter but she instead referred him to the
police leadership that wasn’t helpful. He says none of the government agencies took
responsibility for what was going on at the radio station as they kept tossing
him from one office to another.
According to Anyole, the radio station and its
employees suffered great loss as all their business partners including
advertisers can't transact with it. Busoga One now wants the court to order the government, UCC and police to pay damages for the
inconveniences caused during the time they were off air.
They also want a
declaration that the takeover of its premises was illegal since they were never
given a fair hearing. UCC Spokesperson,
Ibrahim Bbosa couldn't be reached for a comment on the matter. The UCC Legal
Officer, Abdul Salaam Waisswa declined to comment on the matter, saying he has
not yet looked at the court documents.
spokesperson, Fred Enanga told URN that the station was closed because the
presenters were being partisan. He explained that police maintained its presence
at the station, premises following a directive from UCC because the presenters
were announcing unconfirmed election results.
Enanga, they are investigating two cases including interfering with the
the electoral process and inciting violence, adding that they have since recorded
statements from the station employee and investigations are ongoing.
One of the ardent listeners
of Busoga One FM told URN on the condition of anonymity that they were listening
to John Odwori, one of the station presenters who kept on saying that, "my
private president has won elections in all the island communities and will
become the 10th president” when the station was turned off. The case file
is before Justice Musa Ssekaana, the head of the High Court Civil Division, who is yet to set a date for the hearing.