Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) says it will suspend Urban TV’s license if the station refuses to submit a recording of its presenter attacking Sheila Gashumba.
Acting UCC Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo has ordered Urban TV to submit recordings of the programme for the period between June 01-26, 2020.
These include recordings of former TV presenter Sheilah Gashumba and Ali Marcus Moses Sempija (God’s Plan).
Gashumba and Lwanga say Scoop on Scoop presenter Christine Karungi (Tina Fierce) made “false, offensive, scandalous and harmful” statements against them.
The two lovers complained to UCC through their lawyers of M/s Balondemu & Co. Advocates on June 24, 2020.
Gashumba was meanwhile running a social media campaign against media bullying and harassment.
The Commission says it had received earlier complaints from viewers and informed Urban TV, a subsidiary of Vision Group, earlier in May.
The complainants said “the content and nature of Scoop on Scoop airing on Urban TV violates the Minimum Broadcasting Standards as enshrined in the Uganda Communications Act 2013.”
They had added that the content was “abusive, demeaning and inciting; opinionated and not attributed to any reliable source.”
It had asked for programme recording from May 01-20, 2020, and proof of certification and registration of the producer and the host of the programme.
URBAN TV LICENSE IN BALANCE OVER UCC DIRECTIVES
Sections 5 and 27 of the Press and Journalist Act, Cap. 105 spell out the qualifications of programme producers and hosts.
“In response, Vision Group wrote to the Commission on May 29, 2020, stating that the complaint had been forwarded to its Human Resource Department for disciplinary proceedings,” said Sewankambo.
“Vision Group enclosed DVDs of the programme, but neither made representations on the complaint as requested nor provided evidence of the producer and the host’s qualifications.”
Consequently, UCC suspended the programme after Urban TV failed to comply with the directives.
Now, the Commission is still waiting for the station to submit its June 2020 recordings, including those in which Fierce reportedly shredded Gashumba.
Vision Group said Scoop on Scoop had taken a short break.
But UCC insists the show won’t return until the station “has sufficient controls to avoid the risk of breaching the Minimum Broadcasting Standards and the rights of other members of the public.”
Sewankabo was threatened “other appropriate regulatory sanctions” should Urban TV refuse to comply with May 2020 directives and also submit last month’s recordings.
Sanctions available to the Commission in the event of failure to comply include suspension of the station’s broadcasting licence, read a statement on the UCC website.