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Presidential candidates to get free air space on UBC TV

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) has agreed to give free airspace on their Television and Radios for all the Uganda Presidential candidates.

Wilfred Senyange, the UBC spokesperson confirmed the development today. “We have contacted all the presidential candidates to get their schedules, to know where they will be at particular time and asked them people will work with as contacts, ” he said.

He added that following the directive by the Electoral Commission for it to provide free access, they have also asked the electoral commission for all the necessary details about the candidates like their contacts and schedules.

UBC has four television stations and 11 radio stations across the country airing in different dialects.

While the Electoral Commission (EC) reportedly directed Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) to provide free air space to presidential candidate, the media house’s Deputy Managing Director Maurice Mugisha said they already had an arrangement for everyone that’s been running since electioneering started.

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“We allocated time each week for one presidential candidate on One on One hosted by Michael Jordan Lukomwa. We also have other platforms on Radio and TV like UBCBehindTheHeadlines where airtime is provided on invitation by the producers. Our rates for political adverts and campaigns are at a discount,” Mugisha said.

Paul Bukenya, the EC spokesperson said that dialogue with management of UBC has been finalised, and a resolution arrived at for the national broadcaster to approach all the presidential candidates about their campaign programs.

This comes after physical campaigns were banned in 20 districts and cities, yet opposition candidates are reportedly denied both private and public media in these areas, apart from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party presidential candidate and incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Bukenya said they were also forced to make the directive after they received complaints from opposition presidential candidates in their various meetings over failure to access space on national platforms like UBC.

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The Presidential Elections (Amendment) Act 2020 recasts and expands the provisions of section 24(1) of the Presidential Elections Act No 16/2005 on equal access to and treatment of State-owned media. It places the obligation on the Electoral Commission to ensure equal treatment of all presidential candidates on State-owned media (recast s. 24(1)).

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