The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has temporarily lifted the ban on public address system in order to ease local leaders’ communication to the general public.
UCC was established under section 4 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013 (the Act) as the regulator in the development of a modern communications sector that includes telecommunications, broadcasting, radio communications, postal communications, data communication and infrastructure.
The Commission’s mandate includes to regulate, monitor, inspect, licence, supervise, control, promote communications services and safeguard the interests of the consumers and providers of these in Uganda.
In exercise of its mandate in respect of effecting the provisions of the Act and in collaboration with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the Commission banned the use of open-air loudspeakers or megaphones, also known as bizindalo, to broadcast in Uganda.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has noted that whereas the mainstream broadcasting platforms are doing their best toinform and sensitise all people across the country about the Coronavirus, open-air broadcasting can significantly foster the efforts to increase the dissemination of information about the preventive and safety guidelines on this global pandemic.
Accordingly, the Commission has decided to grant a temporary exception to the ban on open-air broadcasting to the Ministry of Health and the District local authorities for provision of information and sensitisation of the public about the Coronavirus until the 30th May 2020.
The Ministry of Health and District local authorities shall coordinate their agents to ensure compliance with the following conditions:
Open-air broadcasting shall be undertaken only between 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Content to be aired shall be limited to that on the Coronavirus as approved or sanctioned by the Ministry of Health for dissemination to the public.
The Commission shall continue to monitor the level of compliance with the conditions set herein and shall not hesitate to enforce against any persons/entities that shall be found to operate contrary to the above conditions.