Broadcasters have asked government to put in writing the regulation that bans panelists that appear on TV and radio talk shows wearing red berets.
In their October 28 letter to Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), National Association for Broadcasters (NAB) indicated that they had agreed with the security agencies in their Tuesday meeting to form a committee that would work to establish harmony during the election time between media personalities and the security but the red beret ban was never agreed upon.
“Considering that the matter is yet to be declared as otherwise or decided upon by the a competent jurisdiction and given the fact that you are our regulator, we need official communication on this matter or an official communication as to whether wearing the red beret by persons not belonging to the forces is not allowed and are banned from being hosted on media platforms or not, such that we can communicate to our members officially,” reads the leter in part.
The NAb secretary-general, Joseph Beyanga, said they were surprised that the matter was brought out at the briefing yet it was never discussed during the meeting and would like it to be highlighted by the regulators.
“We are not a fashion police to arrest hosts because of the dress code, UCC should tell us whether it is one of the minimum broadcasting standards and should be put in writing,” Mr Beyanga said in an interview.
After a meeting between media owners and security agencies over the brutality and arrest of journalists and panelists, government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo on Tuesday said that media houses had been banned from hosting people wearing red berets citing sections 169 and 179 of the penal Code Act Cap 120.
Mr Paulo Ekochu, the chairman of Uganda media Council said that the issue of whether or not wearing the red beret is illegal is subject to the interpretation of the law but the regulation by the government on the attire ought to stand.