Why UBC Rejected Besigye’s Campaign Adverts
Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) has denied allegations it received Shs21m from Col. Kizza Besigye for 2011 campaign adverts.
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president last week dragged UBC to court, accusing the State Broadcaster of turning down his request to broadcast his campaign messages.
Besigye further alleged UBC also refused to refund his money which he had pad for the ads.
However, in a suit filed on Tuesday, UBC states:
“The plaintiff (Besigye) was not discriminated against as alleged because the defendant (UBC) conveyed his campaign messages in its prime news slots during the campaigns.”
Represented by Kiwanuka and Karugire Advocates, UBC denies ever dealing with Besigye directly or indirectly.
It however admits having been contacted by a public relations firm Big Ideas to run the adverts.
“Internal hitches made us unable to run the adverts and the money was refunded to Big Ideas. Besides, Big Ideas contacted us as an agent of the Inter Party Cooperation (IPC) and not as an agent of Dr. Besigye,” reads part of the defence.
Besigye sued UBC together with its former Managing Director Edward Musinguzi-Mugasa who was recently sacked and charged at the anti-corruption court for illegally selling off the broadcaster’s properties.
Besigye claims he wanted his message aired on UBC’s various platforms of UBC TV, UBC radio, Mega FM, and Star FM.
Through his lawyers A.F Mpanga Advocates, the leader of Uganda’s main opposition party says the failure to broadcast his campaign messages was a violation of his fundamental rights as a citizen and Presidential candidate.
He has asked court to issue an order that UBC must in future observe fundamental rights of all candidates, be paid the money with an annual interest of 30% from December 2010 till payment in full and to be paid general and exemplary damages at 15% interest from December 2010 till payment in full.
The matter is before High Court Justice Elizabeth Musoke.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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