The National Association of Broadcasters has announced that it will not be obliged to give coverage to government activities until an order restricting state advertisements to the national broadcaster is reversed.
NAB made the pronouncement in reaction to a Budget Execution Circular (BEC) for the financial year 2023/2024 and that ordered, ”…..all Government advertising must be through the Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation. Any Accounting Officer who deviates from this will be sanctioned including dismissal. Print media advertising should be done through the New Vision. I therefore urge all Accounting officers to strictly adhere to the directive.”
The order was issued by President Yoweri Museveni.
NAB Secretary General Joseph Beyanga noted that the body remains willing to meet with government stakeholders to resolve the impasse.
Below is the statement in full…
RESPONSE TO THE BUDGET EXECUTION CIRCULAR (BEC) FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 2023/2024
The above captioned matter refers.
We write to formally communicate our protest in respect of the Budget Execution Circular (BEC) for the financial year 2023/2024 and make specific reference to paragraph 11 of the circular wherein you emphasized that;
”…..all Government advertising must be through the Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation. Any Accounting Officer who deviates from this will be sanctioned including dismissal. Print media advertising should be done through the New Vision. I therefore urge all Accounting officers to strictly adhere to the directive.”
Suffice it to note that the said directive in paragraph 11 contradicts your own assertion in paragraph 10 of the circular which states that;
“Accounting officers should ensure that all projects (whether Government of Uganda or externally funded) are implemented within the provisions of Article 21 (1) and (2) of the Constitution and Section 13 (11) (e) (i-ii) of the Public Management Act,2015 (as Amended).This emphasizes equality of all persons access to all opportunities and benefits presented by the above projects, without prejudice and discrimination on ground of sex, race, color, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability” (emphasis ours)
You are well aware that the National Strategy for Private Sector Development (NSPSD) FY 2017/18-2021/22 sets out a comprehensive scheme for coordinating the growth and development of the Private Sector in Uganda, not to mention the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) No.1 of 2003, the EAC Treaty (with emphasis on promoting the private sector), the Uganda Communications Commissions Act, 2013 (Regulations on Competition), National Competition Policy of 2014 by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, National Strategy for Private Sector Development (NSPSD), which all speak to Government’s reinforcement of a Private Sector-led economy aimed at strengthening and co-ordinating policies and initiatives geared towards growing and developing business enterprises in a competitive and fair manner.
Our protest as an industry is that, the implementation of the said directive in your circular will not only contravene the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda but also set a precedent that goes against Government’s policy that champions a Private Sector-led economy.
In light of the aforementioned, we are left with no option but to let you know that hence forth, the members of the National Association of Broadcasters shall not be obliged to cover any Government activity until the said directive is reversed.
In the spirit of service and patriotism, we request to meet you and any other government official who may be relevant to the subject matter to find an amicable solution for all stakeholders.
We thank you and look forward to your positive response in this regard.