UCC: Uganda’s Watchdog Shuts Down 6 Radio Stations

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)

The Uganda Communications Commission(UCC), has closed down 6 Ugandan radio stations. The commission closed the radio stations for “repeated failure’ to obtain a valid broadcasting license.

According to section 26(1) of the Act, a person shall not install or operate a radio station or any related broadcasting apparatus without a license issued by the Commission. Section 27(1) of the Act also requires that a person shall not broadcast without a broadcasting license issued by the Commission.” wrote the commission in its notice of closure.

The 6 stations are Radio Divine (90.6), 101.6 Hot (101.6), Kisoro FM ( 91.1), Iraka Ryentunguka (102.2), Peace FM (93.7) and Clouds FM (98.5).

The UCC was established by the Uganda Communications Act 2013 (the Act). The regulator is tasked with developing a modem communications sector that includes telecommunications, broadcasting, and radio communications among other services.

It serves as an ICT watchdog in the same capacity as the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). Likewise, the Kenyan authority does shut down media houses that fail to obtain licensing or break programming codes.

For instance, earlier in the year, CA shut down Times TV and World Evangelism TV. The two stations were associated with beleaguered pastors Paul McKenzie and Ezekiel Odero respectively.

UCC Digital Broadcasting Pilot

Recently, UCC launched its digital broadcasting pilot dubbed “The DAB+ Pilot Project”. A significant leap in Uganda’s radio broadcast sector.

Its Kenyan counterpart, CA has developed a framework for Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) in Kenya. During a media engagement forum in June, CA indicated the Kenyan Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) pilot would begin within the year. As of now, this is yet to happen.

Kenyans would hope the recent allegations facing the suspended Ezra Chiloba will not derail the DAB plans.