Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Uganda: Media freedom without free access to media

Uganda's political games seem to have began. The Daily Monitor newspaper of Uganda reported on Monday February 1, that the political opposition member Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye is facing problems with accessing media houses to have his views aired.

Well, according to the newspaper, Besigye was set to Luo FM in Pader District on Saturday abruptly cancelled Dr Besigye’s scheduled 8-10pm talkshow, citing “orders from above”.

What is happening in Ivory Coast can be used to draw comparisons with what Besigye is facing in Uganda. Recently, thousands of Ivorians marched through the streets of Abidjan protesting against state media coverage ahead of the country's national elections. The protesters claimed that President Laurent Gbagbo has a stranglehold over state media.

They also demanded that opposition parties be given equal access to the state media. The demonstration was organised by the youth wing of the Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace, a coalition that unites the parties of former president Henri Konan Bedie and of ex-prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

This is not the first time this is happening. And if it is a sign of what is yet to come when the election period kicks off officially, it is also a test on the Ugandan government's capacity to accomodate alternative political views. Read the full story by clicking on: The Daily Monitor

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