Parliament Abandons Radio And TV Project, Equipment Offered To UBC

The Parliamentary Commission has abandoned the radio and television project it was pursuing to enhance media coverage of business in Parliament and donated the equipment to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC).

Among the equipment offered to UBC, a government owned public broadcaster network include; two transmitters, standby generator, an uninterruptible power supply – UPS automatic voltage regulators, band pass filter, change-over switch, equipment rack, antenna system and a feeder cable.

The decision was communicated by the Speaker Anita Among, who doubles as the Commission’s Chairperson while handing over the equipment to the UBC management from at her Boardroom on Friday.

The other current members of the Commission include; the Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja who is also the Leader of Government Business, Mathias Mpuuga, Leader of the Opposition, the Minister for Finance, Matia Kasaija and four Commissioners (Backbench Members of Parliament).

The process to install the radio and television station of Parliament had stalled since 2018 when the then leadership of the House under former Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga Alitwala lobbied for the project.

Adolf Mwesige Kasaija, the Clerk to Parliament who doubles as the Secretary to the Parliamentary Commission revealed that the establishment of the radio and TV stalled because of disagreement between the Commission and the Uganda Communications Commission – UCC over frequency.

Speaker Among revealed that the Commission decided to give away the radio equipment free of charge to UBC in fulfillment of Parliament’s corporate social responsibility because venturing into media industry is not the mandate of Parliament.

UBC Managing Director, Winston Agaba, while receiving the equipment, said they would utilize the equipment to bolster their coverage of Parliament to educate and inform the public to make better decisions and urged Government to first truck digital migration.

The radio equipment was a donation to the institution by the United Nations Development Programme – UNDP during the 10th Parliament to enhance media coverage.

Former Speaker Kadaga, told legislators during plenary sitting on 7 March 2019, that Parliament had acquired 98.0 FM, one of the frequencies of UBC hosting UBC RED channel to operate the proposed radio station to cover Kampala and the Central Region.

Several journalists reporting at Parliament applied for various positions in the new radio and TV station, but their dreams have been cut short by the Commission’s decision.

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