EXCLUSIVE: Nambooze, Nsereko Suspended From CBS
Firebrand MPs Betty Nambooze and Mohammed Nsereko have been suspended indefinitely from appearing on Buganda Kingdom radio station, Central Broadcasting Service.
Nambooze told Chimpreports in an exclusive interview on Friday morning that he received a telephone call from CBS management, communicating a decision that all the programmes where she has been appearing with Nsereko had been suspended until further notice.
“Basing on the prevailing circumstances, CBS was just communicating a decision from State House. The Ministers of Presidency and Information recently said they would not allow what they referred to as ‘lies’ on radios so I am not surprised,” said Nambooze.
The development comes against the backdrop of President Yoweri Museveni’s threats to close radio stations that host individuals who “continue peddling lies against government and sabotaging development.”
In his New Year message, Museveni sternly warned “economic saboteurs,” “traitors” and “liars” on radio stations that they will “be fought hard and defeated” by his government.
“The indiscipline is now confined to elements of the political class and the media. Those are the ones who endlessly tell lies, sabotage progress, etc. Firm steps will be taken to end this indiscipline,” warned Museveni.
He added: “The pessimism and misinformation spread by liars should be rejected. The Radio and TV stations that peddle these lies should be closed if they are not prepared to fulfill their mandate of entertaining, informing truthfully and educating truthfully.”
The President’s spokesperson, Tamale Mirundi and Nsereko were not readily available for comment.
Nambooze and Nsereko are renowned critics of Museveni and his government policies .
Nambooze was detained for almost a week some years ago over her harsh stance against government during radio talk shows which Museveni said bordered on “fanning tribal sentiments.”
Early this week, Nambooze appeared at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of Police at Kireka, Kampala to meet detectives over remarks she made that suggested that government had a hand in Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda’s death.
While government maintains Nebanda succumbed to drug abuse on December 14 last year, a section of legislators insist the deceased was a victim of poisoning.
Nambooze described CBS’ move as “an attack on the Ugandan media,” adding, “we know that CBS has been under pressure from the Media Council and State House.”
She added that CBS has been operating without license ever since it was reopened in 2011, having been shut at the peak of an acrimonious fight between government and Mengo, the political seat of the Kingdom, in September 2009.
“So CBS has been surviving on the mercy of government; it can be closed any time from now.”
The Mukono Municipality MP said she was not “worried” about the suspension “because when you silence me from radios I can reach out to my people through other means such as public rallies.”
She added: “You see, when fighting a dictatorship, such things are expected and should surprise no one. You start seeing radio stations adjusting to please the President.”
A few weeks ago, popular political programmes on Hits FM radio station in western Uganda were suspended after it emerged that some panelists had leveled personal attacks on the First Lady Janet Museveni.
Analysts say the suspension of the MPs from CBS has sparked fears of a possible rift between government and Mengo.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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