Radio Station Shut Down for Hosting Amama Mbabazi

By Joseph Elunya
A private radio station in western Uganda has been closed down for hosting independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi.
Endigyito FM was shut down on Wednesday by Government shortly after former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi was hosted on it.
“Our candidate Amama appeared the other day on Endigyito FM and it was closed after” explained Maggie Lukowe the Go Forwards’s assistant Media Manager.
Lukowe says their team has been turned away from several radio stations where they attempted to book for airtime.
“Yesterday Amama was blocked from appearing on TV West. We went to pay for airtime and we were denied just like in Kotido where we paid but could not be allowed on air” explains Lukowe.
Unfair coverage
According to Lukowe the radio stations and TVs are allocating more time to specific candidates in their news bulletins “Some candidates are given five minutes length of time in a news bulletin while some only two minutes”.
Media Monitoring Report
A report released by African Center for Media Excellence indicates that independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi received the most negative media coverage in the month of December.
The report also indicates that President Museveni continues to dominate news bulletins in both radio, television and newspapers.
According to the report, President Museveni was provided more front page by newspapers in December. The incumbent got 39.6% of the front page coverage compared to 36.1% for Mr. Mbabazi and 20.8% for Dr. Kiiza Besigye.
On radio the incumbent had 42% compared to Mr. Mbabazi’s 26.6% and Dr. Besigye’s 22.8%.
A recent opinion poll put President Museveni just at 51% lead bringing fear of a possible re-run.
The opinion poll was conducted by Research World International-RWI on behalf of Nation Television Uganda.
A day after the polls were released the ruling party banned NTV from covering President Yoweri Museveni’s rallies.
The TV station was banned for declining to use drone pictures provided by members of the presidential pres unit. The TV station had insisted on using footage from its journalists who are on the campaign trail.
With only a month to go cases of harassment and intimidation are likely to go up.
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