ICT minister extends term of UBC review committee

The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, has extended the term of the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) review committee by a month.

The committee, set up on 1 August 2016, will now complete its work by end of October but without extra pay, according to a statement from the UBC Review Committee issued today.

“I thank them immensely for offering this extra time at no extra cost. I am grateful to them for their patriotic commitment,” Mr Tumwebaze said.

The seven-member committee, chaired by Dr. Peter G. Mwesige, a media educator, was established by the ICT minister to review UBC and propose how the public broadcaster can operate efficiently while delivering on its statutory public mandate.

Other members of the committee are Mr. Adolf Mbaine, a journalism and communication don at Makerere University, Ms. Peace Piwang, Director of Corporate Affairs at the Capital Markets Authority, electrical engineer William Kato Bitarabeho, and former journalists and communication practitioners Odrek Rwabwogo and Peter Okello Jabweli. Mr Jabweli is also an advocate and member of the Media Council, the statutory regulator of journalism in Uganda.

The Minister also appointed two officials from KCCA, Mr. Mike Okua, the director of legal services, and Mr. Donny Muganzi Kitabire, the financial accounting manager, to provide technical backstopping to the committee.

According to the statement, the committee has gathered and reviewed oral and written evidence from the government, UBC, regulators, political parties, civil society, the media, and the general public.

“We are now in the process of compiling the draft report and we are making good progress,” said Dr. Mwesige. “The extension will give us more time to put together a solid report.”

The committee’s report will focus on the following areas; legal and policy framework; human resources and governance; programming and editorial content; engineering and technical; and business and finance.

While unveiling the committee in August, Mr Tumwebaze said: “UBC has great potential to shine both within the country and on the airwaves worldwide. It is my intention therefore to have a strong and well managed national broadcaster able to cover the whole country, fully close the gap left by the private players and help to tell a true story about Uganda’s rich heritage.”

Harriet Anena

Harriet Anena is ACME’s Special Projects Officer

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