President Museveni Cautions Broadcasters Against Promoting Politics Of Identity And Sectarianism

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said there’s a need to organize an annual guidance meeting for broadcasters to update them on the direction the government is taking in the transformation of the country as well as get feedback from the public as far as service delivery is concerned. 

The President made the remarks yesterday during a meeting with broadcasters under their umbrella body- the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) that was held at State House Entebbe. 

He asked the media practitioners to always be patriotic and avoid promoting politics of identity and sectarianism. 

“Some people perceive the NRM ideology in a wrong way. Our principles started as early as 1965 and during that time we began to fight sectarianism and politics of identity based on three objectives; prosperity for Africa, strategic security and brotherhood. We said that our leaders were going to lead us into disaster, while our leaders were pushing politics of identity of ‘I am a catholic, Muslim, protestant, I am a Munyankole, I am a muganda, we started saying how about the politics of interests,” the President noted.

He also disclosed that the mistakes of past traditional leaders who were obsessed with the politics of identity largely contributed to the colonization of Uganda by the Europeans. 

He therefore implored the broadcasters to understand the crucial need to appreciate ideology and strategy in the development of the country. 

“Clean your media houses by dealing with the people who promote sectarianism and politics of identity before the government comes in. Don’t give them a platform,” President Museveni advised. 

In the same meeting, President Museveni revisited his directive to the Prime Minister that all government advertising business should be channelled to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) and Vision Group after an appeal made by the broadcasters to the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi that they were failing to pay staff salaries and taxes as a result of this directive. 

H.E Museveni thus directed the Minister Baryomunsi to meet the NAB team next week to forge a way forward on how the government can work better with them to promote socio-economic transformation of the country, promote politics of interest and fight sectarianism. 

He said the directive was not intended to harm the private sector but to help revitalize UBC, before pledging to support the National broadcaster by clearing all its debts.

“We are going to pay for UBC’s satellite this Financial Year,” President Museveni said. 

He also directed the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Minister Baryomunsi and the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury (PSST), Mr. Ramathan Ggoobi to enforce the payment of the satellite and ensure all UBC’s upcountry radio stations are back on air. 

The President also used the same meeting to talk about the World Bank’s decision to halt loans to Uganda over the recently signed Anti-Homosexuality law. He said he was not bothered by their decision since he has always discouraged the government from taking up such loans that are most times applied for personal interests. 

President Museveni further assured that Uganda will be able to sustain her economy as long as it deals with the problem of corrupt politicians and civil servants who frustrate investors. 

The NAB team led by Mr. Kin Kariisa thanked President Museveni for his visionary leadership and for his continued support towards the private sector. He also agreed that UBC needs special consideration.