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UGANDA: Regime switches off 23 witchcraft radio stations

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UCC switches off 23 radio stations over promoting witchcraft

Written by URN (THE OBSERVER) – Kampala

Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has revoked licences of 23 radio stations accused of promoting and advertising witchcraft content that aid and abet electronic fraud.

The radios whose licences have been revoked by the regulator include; Nile FM located in Arua, Kagadi Broadcasting Services FM, Emambya FM located in Kibale, Village Club California located in Kiryandongo, Radio Kitara found in Masindi, Pakwach FM, Tropical FM found in Mubende.

Others radios on the list are; Apex FM, Jinja, Bamboo FM-Jinja, Ssebo FM-Kamuli, Eastern Voice FM-Jinja, Eye FM-Iganga, Victoria FM-Jinja, RFM-Iganga, Kira FM, HITS FM’s two stations in Fort Portal and Mbarara, Greater African Radio, Mbarara, Dana FM-Bunyangabu, Gold FM-Kabarole, Metro FM in Kampala, Tiger FM and Dembe FM in Kampala.UCC spokesperson, Pamela Ankunda says the station owners have been informed of the decision. Until these radios show cause why they should be allowed to be on air, she said they will be switched off.

Ankunda says these radios have been used by witchdoctors to defraud people by claiming that when people send them money, their problems can be sorted. She says UCC has been monitoring these radios for a while and that they have evidence.

“We have recordings, it is not like we just woke up one day and said we’re going to revoke. We have recordings of these stations. We have teams that have been monitoring these stations,” said Ankunda.

The revocation comes after a warning issued by the regulator in February. UCC had warned that advertising and promoting witchcraft would trigger punishment. UCC last month summoned a number of radio stations including, Apex FM, Dembe FM, Star FM, Metro FM among others over the issue. The radio stations were told they had been carrying misleading promotions on their airwaves.

“At the hearing, audio recordings of con-men or purported witchcraft practitioners were played and the broadcasters tasked to explain their contents which are deemed as aiding and abetting electronic fraud contrary to section 19 and 21 of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011,” UCC said in a statement after summoning the radios.

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