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UCC to shutdown radio stations promoting witchcraft

Executive Director Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA

The Uganda Communications Commission has said it will withdraw licences of broadcasting houses found advertising and promoting witchcraft, an activity the commission says contradicts section 2 of the Witchcraft Act (Cap 124).

Under the revised laws of the republic of Uganda which came in force on December 31, 2000, in chapter 124, witchcraft is interpreted not to include bona fide spirit worship or bona fide manufacture, supply or sale of native medicines.

According to the Act, any person who practices witchcraft or who holds himself or herself out as a witch, whether on one or more occasions, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

Further more, the Act says; Any person who hires or procures another person to practice witchcraft or who for evil purposes consults or consorts with another who practices witchcraft or holds himself or herself out as a witch commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

UCC on Friday summoned radio stations including, Apex FM, Dembe FM, Star FM, Metro FM among others over what is said to have been a repeated breach of minimum broadcasting standards.

The radio stations were accused of carrying misleading promotions on their airwaves.

“At the hearing, audio recordings of conmen or purported witchcraft practitioners were played and the broadcasters tasked to explain their contents which are deemed as aiding and abetting electronic fraud contrary to section 19 and 21 of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011,” a statement issued by UCC read in part.

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The move by UCC was evoked after a listener in Buikwe district was conned of Ush1.4 million that was sent through mobile money to a purported traditional healer that advertised her service on Metro FM in return for quick fortunes and good luck.

The regulator says the listed broadcasters were directed to write letters of undertaking not to air the controversial content again.

The same will refund all the victims’ money within a time frame of 10 working days.

By Staff Writer.

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