UCC closes six radio stations in Uganda

by MMC
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The six radio stations, including Hot FM and Millenium Community Radio, are said to be operating without a license under the Uganda Communications Act.

Uganda has shut down six radio stations after the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) found they were broadcasting unlicensed content. This is contrary to Ugandan communications laws detailed in the Uganda Communications Act, 2013. According to the law, it is illegal for anyone to transmit content without obtaining a broadcast license authorized by the UCC.

Those who violate this law may be fined up to twenty-five currency points. In Uganda, the value of a currency point is set by the Ministry of Finance and serves as a reference point for calculating fines. For this offense, this means that the fine could be calculated based on the current value of a currency point, and the total fine would be 25 times this value. Alternatively, affected stations may be sentenced to up to one year’s imprisonment, or both.

“A closure notice is hereby issued to the owners and management of the radio stations for repeated failure to obtain a valid broadcasting license from the Commission,” the statement said. The UCC said in a statement.

The radio stations affected are Divine Partners, Hot FM, Millenium Community Radio, Salt & Light Christian City Church, Mgahinga Investments and Welsto Company Limited.

According to the Communications Act 2013, the establishment and management of television or radio stations is regulated by the Uganda Communications Act 2013. To do so, a player needs a license from the UCC, which takes into account factors such as technical facilities, station location, social impact, and environmental assessment. Failure to comply with this rule constitutes a punishable offense and also engages the liability of representatives of legal entities.

The law grants the right to broadcast but requires accountability. It prohibits actions aimed at preventing dissemination, except where authorized by law. Compliance with laws against explicit content and invasion of privacy is also stipulated in the law. Licensees and producers must ensure that broadcasts respect public morals and maintain recordings for at least sixty days, respecting broadcast standards and values.

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