In their sworn affidavit seen by URN, the applicants accuse UCC and Mutabazi for disregarding court orders and violating the subjudice rule when they conducted investigations and published the said report.
Two city lawyers have run to the High Court Civil Division accusing
Uganda Communications Commission and its executive Director, Godfrey
Mutabazi for contempt of court. They
are Ronald Bwire and Henry Byansi of Mayende and Associated Advocates.
This comes a day after UCC issued a report implicating NTV,
NBS, BBS, Bukedde TV and Radio Sapientia for alleged breach of minimum
broadcasting standards as provided for in the Uganda Communications Act
2013. UCC asked the stations to show cause why their licenses shouldn’t
However in their application before court, Ronald
Bwire and Henry Byansi, say the report by UCC pre-empts an on-going application
for judicial review on the same matter, which is before court. In their sworn
affidavit seen by URN, the applicants accuse UCC and Mutabazi for disregarding
court orders and violating the subjudice rule when they conducted
investigations and published the said report.
In May 2019, the applicants and Aron Kiiza, the lawyer of
Uganda Journalist Association challenged a directive by UCC to 13 media
organizations to suspend at least 39 journalists, saying it was an infringement
on the constitutional rights of journalists.
came after UCC directed NTV, NBS TV, Bukedde TV,
BBS TV, Salt TV and Kingdom TV and as well as seven radio stations;
Capital FM, Akaboozi, Pearl FM, Sapientia FM, Beat FM, and Radio Simba to
suspend their producers, head of news and program managers for covering the arrest
coverage of Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and subsequent
riots that broke out in parts of Kampala city on April 29.
The lawyers applied for an interim injunction pending the
disposal of their application for a judicial review of the UCC directive and
challenged its powers to direct the suspension of employees of a media house. High court, Judge Lydia Mugambe ruled that UCC's directive
was illegal since it violated the journalist’s rights of freedom of
speech, expression and publication among others as enshrined in the constitution.
She issued a temporary injunction preventing UCC and its agents from enforcing the
directive issued on April 30 2019. The applicants say that the respondents shouldn’t have
conducted investigations into a matter before court. They want Godfrey Mutabazi,
the UCC Executive Director Committed to prison for contempt of court and ignoring
the court injunction.
They also want UCC and Mutabazi pay damages of Shillings
6 billion and a fine of Shillings 4 billion. Court is yet to invite the respondents to file
their defense fix the matter for hearing.