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Review Committee Calls for UBC Restructuring

Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT and National Guidance Minister, said government will study the recommendations carefully and implement them. He urged UBC staff to embrace the restructuring process, saying it is meant to redeem the institution.

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The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation Review Committee has called for the amendment of the UBC act to turn the corporation into a truly independent broadcaster. This is contained in the Dr. Peter Mwesige led UBC Review Committee that carried out inquiries into the operations of UBC for three months.

The Committee Secretary, Andrew Kibaya presented their findings to the Information, Communication and Technology Minister, Frank Tumwebaze this morning. Tumwebaze constituted the UBC Review Committee in August this year following concerns about the failure of the Corporation to meet standards of a national broadcaster.

While handing over the report, Kibaya said their findings show that UBC doesn't inspire much confident in the public.

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He also said their investigations showed that UBC is choking with debts and can't pay its staff due to limited funding and mismanagement. Kibaya argued that over the years government has made little effort to fund the corporation while the broadcaster has done little to secure its independence and remain relevant.

Dr. Peter Mwesige, the UBC Review Committee Chairperson on his part, said there is need to amend the UBC act to ensure the editorial and institutional independence of the public broadcaster. He also said there is need to include more players to monitor the performance of UBC.

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Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT and National Guidance Minister, said government will study the recommendations carefully and implement them. He urged UBC staff to embrace the restructuring process, saying it is meant to redeem the institution.

Tumwebaze said government is determined to see UBC operate professionally like New vision, where government holds majority shares.

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He disclosed that the ICT Ministry has already requested Shillings 20 billion from government to facilitate the restructuring process. The committee also proposed a change in the management process to help the board, management and staff to appreciate better and embrace the true mandate of a public broadcaster.

It also proposed the establishment of a predictable and adequate public financing mechanism to support UBCs long term planning. It also called for restructuring of the corporation. The Committee also noted that major decisions on the future of UBC shouldn't be left to the line minister and the cooperation, but parliament, cabinet and general public among others.