Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has suspended a programme airing on Urban TV after several viewers complained about its content that was deemed offensive and scandalous.
According to a statement posted on their official social media site, UCC Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo suspended the programme after management of the station completely disregarded UCC’s warnings over airing content that violated minimum broadcasting standards.
Ms Kaggwa says she first received complaints about a programme ‘Scoop on Scoop’ in May 2020, and accordingly wrote to Vision Group on May 25, 2020, seeking an explanation, including information on the qualifications of the staff behind it.
The complainants according to her, had explicitly alleged that during the month of May 2020, Scoop on Scoop featured content that was “abusive, demeaning and inciting; opinionated and not attributed to any reliable source.”
However, Vision Group didn’t comply as directed, prompting the Executive Director to act.
“Accordingly, the Commission initiated investigations in accordance with sections 5(1)(b), (x) and (j), 31 and 45 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013. To facilitate the investigations, Urban TV was asked to submit a written representation in response to the complaints, and to submit recordings of the programme for the period May 1 – 20, 2020.” the statement reads in part.
Urban TV was also required to provide proof of certification and registration of the producer and the host of the programme, in accordance with sections 5 and 27 of the Press and Journalist Act, Cap. 105.
In response, the statement adds, 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. 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.
Scoop on Scoop, an entertainment show is hosted by Christine Kirungi commonly known as Tina Fierce has since been suspended since Tuesday but UCC says the regulatory due process, which was already in motion, continues.
The content of the programme violates the Minimum Broadcasting Standards as enshrined in the Uganda Communications Act 2013 according to UCC.