On Tuesday, Joel Ssenyonyi, the spokesperson of NUP claimed that a number of their candidates from Lango sub-region were being denied air space. He, however, declined to mention who the aspirants are.
Joel Ssenyonyi the people power spokesperson addresing a media conference at Kamwokya1
Radio Stations in Lango Sub-region have denied allegations that
they are denying air space to candidates of the National Unity Platform Party- NUP.
The radio stations under Lango Radio Owners and Managers Association argue that
they accord time to all candidates irrespective of political affiliation.
On Tuesday, Joel Ssenyonyi, the NUP Party Spokesperson, said that
they had received complaints from their members especially in Lango, Northern
and Western Regions indicating that they are being denied airtime on some media
houses to market their programs to voters.
The decision by some broadcasters to deny candidates radio space
contravenes the 2013 Uganda Communication Commission Act. Recently, UCC issued
guidelines, stating that stations should not turn away candidates
running for presidential and parliamentary seats and that they should accord an
equal opportunity to candidates without discrimination.
Teddy Okot, the Chairperson of the Lango Radio Owners and Managers
Association says they have not received instructions to stop hosting or allocating
air time to NUP candidates. Okot, also the head of Voice of Lango says they are
allocating time to candidates equally.
Magdalen Kasuku, the manager Radio Wa refuted the media claims which she says
she learnt through social media.
Kasuku says they have gone a step further to create a new program
to provide a platform to all candidates at no cost.
Charles Dickens Elem, the manager Radio North also refuted the media
allegations. He, however, said that they ensure that they adhere to the minimum
"We try always to control our guests at least not to utter something that
will bring us problems...of course like when you say something against the
government, it can bring you problems”, he says.
In 2018, Unity FM radio based in Lira was closed on the
orders of the Lira District Police Commander Joel Tubanone. He stormed
the radio station with heavily armed police personnel and military
officers, switched off the radio and picked six staff on allegations
of inciting violence.
Resident District Commissioners have also been accused of blocking
radio stations from hosting opposition politicians.
The stations under the Lango Radio Owners and Managers Association
have also come up with a uniform rate to charge candidates.
According to Elvis Ajwike, the Marketing Executive Voice of Lango,
candidates vying for local government seats are charged One Million Shillings
per hour, Members of Parliament pay two million shillings while presidential
candidates Three Million Shillings.