President Yoweri Museveni has called on proprietors of all radio and television stations in the country to ensure that their media houses disseminate true information and not lies.
The President was last evening guest of honour at the 1st annual broadcasters’ dinner organized by the National Association of Broadcasters at Kampala Sheraton Hotel.
President Museveni urged them to always tell the truth in order to gain credibility and popularity among the population. He told broadcasters that during the liberation struggle, discipline was a priority among the ranks and file of the liberation forces. He added that the move earned the liberators credibility and popularity among the population because any indisciplined fighter would be punished.
Mr. Museveni, therefore, urged proprietors of media houses to live up to their mission of informing, educating and entertaining instead of feeding the masses on lies and inciting them.
“If anyone has anything to say, use your mouth. Do not throw stones at anybody. Ugandans have suffered for too long”, he said.
President Museveni cautioned radio and television operators against copying western styles of broadcasting.
“To tell a lie is not part of our African culture. When you try to imitate the western media, you will run into problems”, he warned.
The President wondered whether it was not possible for Ugandan broadcasters to develop and modernize their own positive culture instead of copying the western culture.
“I do not know what culture you are promoting now by using your radios. You should reflect on this”, he advised.
On self regulation, President Museveni was glad to learn that media houses were to start the practice. He, however, warned them that government was on its part, in the process of formulating stringent measures aimed at stemming the practice of feeding the population on lies and inciting them against their government.
Earlier, President Museveni urged media proprietors to bear in mind where we came from in 1986, where we are today and where Ugandans are supposed to go.
The President reminded them that in 1986, NRM found the Ugandan economy in shambles. He said that the first task of the Movement was to achieve the minimum economic recovery. Mr. Museveni noted that the economy was completely informalised where terms such as magendo, kibanda and kusamula, were the order of the day.
The President told them that with NRM government’s commitment and resilience, all those vices were stopped and new economic strategies adopted, making the Ugandan economy today very vibrant. He said that other areas that were tackled with tremendous success included human resource development where education for all is a priority, health, major roads forming the network in the country are being worked on and the railway line to Mombasa and Tanzania, among others, will be modernized.
President Museveni told broadcasters that top on the priority list is electricity generation that the government is determined to develop with or without the assistance from development partners.
“Radios should be informing people about lack of electricity. We have our money; we shall move”, he said.
The President told them that security is now guaranteed and the country is totally peaceful including Karamoja sub-region.
On corruption, President Museveni told broadcasters that the government is committed to fighting the vice adding that some casualties will soon be apprehended.
Earlier, the Minister of Information and National Guidance, Ms. Matsiko Kabakumba commended the National Resistance Movement for liberalizing the media.
“Twenty years ago, you would only hear of Radio Uganda and Uganda Television. But see what you have in front of you today – the result of the liberalization of the media industry”, she said.
The Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, Captain Francis Babu, called on government to support the broadcasting industry.