The Uganda Communications Commission (the Commission) received a complaint about the content and nature of programming aired by Bukedde TV 2.
The Complainants allege that the Program “FULL BLAST,” aired on 30th September 2021, contained abusive and demeaning language. In addition, the producer or presenter of the program did not provide professional control or guidance to the guests during the program, which resulted in a physical confrontation between some of the guests.
The Commission has reviewed the content of the program, and the following preliminary findings were made:-
The program “FULL BLAST” aired on 30th September 2021 from 2200hrs to 2300 hours and was hosted by Mr Godfrey Sseguya with Pastor Martin Ssempa, Mr Isma Lubega and Ms Jennipher Namutebi Nakangubi (a.k.a Full Figure) as guests.
The program “FULL BLAST” lacked decorum as it had content that indeed contained inappropriate (abusive or demeaning) language and degenerated into a shouting contest whereby guests traded accusations against each other.
The host or presenter of the program, Mr Godfrey Sseguya, failed to exercise the required professionalism and ability to control or guide the guests during the program, which resulted in a physical confrontation between Pastor Ssempa and Ms Jennipher Namutebi Nakangubi.
The program’s content has the potential or is likely to incite, perpetuate hatred and vilify individuals or sections of the community on account of the religion or culture of that person or section of the community. Accordingly, this is a breach of the Minimum Broadcasting Standards as enshrined in Section 31 and schedule 4 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013 and Regulation 8(2)(a), 8(2)(d), and 8(3) of the Uganda Communications (Content) Regulations, S.I No.91 of 2019.
Bukedde TV 2 failed to provide prudential editorial control when it was unable to filter and continued to broadcast offensive content even after it was evident that the host, Mr Sseguya, had failed to control and guide the guests during the program.
The host’s conduct fell below the professional standards and ethics expected of journalists as required under the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105. Furthermore, the host, Producer and Bukedde TV 2 exhibited gross unprofessionalism when they failed to control and guide the guests to the extent of letting the program degenerate into abusive verbal exchanges and physical altercations.
Therefore, in accordance with sections 5(1)(b), (x), and (j), 31 and 45 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013, and to protect the public against further breach of the law and the Minimum Broadcasting Standards through the said program “FULL BLAST”, the Commission directed Bukedde TV 2 as follows:-
- To immediately suspend the airing of the program “FULL BLAST” until Bukedde TV 2 has demonstrated to the Commission that the program has sufficient controls to avoid the risk of breaching the Minimum Broadcasting Standards and the rights of other members of the public.
- To make written submissions to the Commission as to why regulatory sanctions should not be taken against Bukedde TV 2 for breach of the Minimum Broadcasting standards.
- To submit a script of the Program “FULL BLAST” aired on 30th September 2021, clearly indicating and detailing what happened before, during and after the program.
- To submit to the Commission proof of availability of pre-listening devices or time delay equipment used in live broadcasts.
- To submit proof of registration of the producer/editor of the program “FULL BLAST” in accordance with section 5 of the Press and Journalist Act, Cap. 105.
Upon submitting the above information and representations, the Commission will conduct a hearing on this matter but should Bukedde TV 2 fail and or refuse to adhere to the directives above; the Commission shall proceed to institute other appropriate regulatory sanctions against the station, including but not limited to suspension of broadcast license.