The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) have implored Google to block access to Ghetto TV, an online channel, and thirteen National Unity Platform (NUP) leaning online channels.
In a letter dated December 9, 2020 that UCC sent to the CEO of Google in the USA, the communications regulator noted that these channels violate the Ugandan Law, using YouTube.
“The Commission is in receipt of complaints from stakeholders including the Minister of Internal Affairs (as Chairperson of the National Security Council), the Uganda Police Force and has also observed that communication services, platforms and networks, including YouTube, are being used to publish, disseminate, and/or broadcast content that, contrary to Uganda Communications Act of 2013 and Regulation 8(2) of the Uganda Communications (Content Regulations 2019):,” the letter reads in part.
The channels that were highlighted are TMO Online, Lumbuye Fred, Trending Channel Ug, Uganda Yaffe, Uganda News Updates, Ghetto TV, Busesa Media Updates, Uganda Empya, Map Mediya TV, KK TV, Ekyooto TV, Namungo Media, JB Muwonge and Bobi Wine 2021.
UCC said that these “misrepresent information, views, facts and events in a manner likely to mislead and incite violence against sections of the public on account of their tribe and political opinions.
According to Section 27 of the Content Regulations Act, one will not broadcast in Uganda without a broadcasting license issued by UCC and a person who contravenes this commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty five currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both. UCC said that the listed accounts do not hold licenses and are violating the law, using YouTube.
“Wherefore, as the regulator of the communications sector in Uganda and in accordance with the Sections 5(1) (b), (j), (x), 6 and 45 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Commission hereby implores Google to block access to the following accounts,” UCC stated in the later.
Early this year, UCC directed all online content providers to register with the regulator without fail. A number of content providers however undermined the directive and continue to operate unregulated.
The presidential press secretary, Don Wanyama said in a tweet that the state reserves the right to check irresponsible reporting.
“Media engaging in responsible journalism has no restrictions. But if you think you’ll use new media tools to whip up tribal emotions, advocate for violence, etc, then the state reserves all right to check you. Examples abound of untold loss occasioned by irresponsible press,” Wanyama said.