It has been a year since the Central Broadcasting Station radio was closed by the government.
Re-opening the popular station, owned by the Buganda Kingdom, has remained a major topic at President Yoweri Museveni’s rallies in the countryside in the last two years.
Is there a new silver lining in the station’s cloud?
According to media reports, President Yoweri Museveni called a meeting of his cabinet ministers last week and said the station should be reopened.
The Sunday Monitor reported that the president was now concerned about the economic consequences of the closure on employees especially the “many people who are not necessarily anti-NRM.”
The over 100 CBS employees who were rendered jobless have since taken the government to court seeking Shs 3 billion in compensation.
On September 10 2009, the Broadcasting Council shut down and revoked the licence of CBS for allegedly using it to “mobilise and incite the public and sowing seeds of hatred among Ugandans” leading to the death of more than 27 people during the riots that followed a standoff between the central government and the seat of the Buganda kingdom.
Even with the president finally championing its reopening, the station still has conditions to fulfill, according to Information Minister Kabakumba Matsiko.
She was quoted as saying: “People should know that CBS was not closed forever. There are things that have to be sorted out. The issue now is, can we fasten the process and come to a common understanding?”
In January a Cabinet sub-committee formed to address the CBS closure came up with 12 conditions for reopening the radio station. CBS management was required to apologise to the government “through the Broadcasting Council”, relocate its studio from the Kabaka’s palace (Bulange), withdraw the court case brought by employees against the government, dismiss journalists and presenters who allegedly participated in inciting the September riots, and follow the minimum broadcasting standards.
Sunday Monitor says that some of the cabinet ministers who attended the meeting also added that the station should be opened but only if individuals who have reportedly used it as a platform to discredit the achievements of President Museveni and the NRM while promoting sectarianism “are not allowed back again.”
More related links
Buganda refuses to apologise over CBS
State House: CBS radio must apologise
CBS denies inciting September riots
Mengo: CBS radio will not relocate
Government sets 12 conditions for reopening CBS radio
CBS must say sorry – Museveni