The Ugandaa Communications Commission (UCC) this morning opened their Northern Uganda Regional Liaison office in Gulu.
UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi flanked by Corporate Affairs Director Fred Otunnu, Kin Kaliisa, NBS TV Chief Executive and National Association of Broadcasters Chairman cut tape to open the plush offices at 10am.
The opening of the UCC Liaison Office in Gulu also coincided with the UCC consumer dialogue that took place at the Bomah Hotel in Gulu town.
The dialogue was facilitated under the theme “The media we want”.
UCC conducts consumer dialogues across the country to gather views on services of telecoms, broadcasters and other communications services providers.
Opening the regional office, Mutabazi said the communications body was keen on being within the reach of Ugandans with ease.
“The opening of this regional office in Gulu is part of our strategic mission to get Ugandan media consumers easily reach us. It is from these offices that we pick feedback to regulate the industry and protect citizens from irresponsible media practices”. Mutabazi said.
Why let government switch us off?
Raising so much applause from the participants, Gulu residents told UCC they were not happy with government action of switching off social media during troublesome times.
Gulu residents also raised the issue of telecom networks that overcharge or under deliver on their paid for services and also mobile money charges that were recently increased hindering cross country financial transactions.
“MTN and Airtel increased their mobile money charges last month leaving us crippled. Our businesses have been affected. We ask that UCC intervenes” complained Janice Achom.
Only Africell and UTL were praised for keeping their mobile money transfer rates unchanged.
Consumers also lashed at broadcasters that overcharge them for services.
“We find it unfair that some broadcasters charge us highly morever in dollars for us to view informative programmes. We ask government to intervene” said Alex Okello.
Kin Kaliisa, Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters said government had failed them at implementing the digital transformation shift.
“Government promised us that the responsibility of relaying our content would be taken over by them. Years later, this has not happened. This is hampering our delivery of countrywide coverage for our audiences” Kaliisa said.
The National Information body NITA said they were in talks with government to draft more stringent laws around the misuse of social media and irresponsible broadcasting.
The dialogue closed off with broadcasters assuring residents that they would implement suggestions made and improve on services.
Participants were offered questionnaires to rate the quality of services of the service providers.
This was the 5th UCC led consumer parliament with the last one having been held in Jinja during the month of March.