Ugandan TV station withdraws digital migration case against industry regulator

The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), a nationalised TV station in Uganda, has withdrawn a case filed against the country’s communications industry regulator the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for violating a digital migration contract.

In the suit filed on October 4 at the High Court in the country’s capital Kampala, UCC had been accused of terminating a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on May 29.

According to a national daily, acting UBC managing director Paul Kihika issued instructions to Henry Rwaganika, the TV station’s lawyer, asking him to withdraw the case in a letter dated October 17, 2012.

“UBC management has unconditionally decided to discontinue the proceedings in the above suit and all attendant miscellaneous applications. This is, therefore, to instruct you to ensure that proceedings in the aforementioned suit are properly discontinued,” the letter, which was filed last Wednesday, read.

UBC’s lawyer was further instructed to ensure that a withdrawal consent order is signed and unconditionally endorsed by all the parties.

The letter is copied to Godfrey Mutabazi, UCC executive director, Eudes Keitirima, the deputy registrar of High Court Civil division, and UCC’s lawyer Joseph Matsiko.

UBC had been appointed sole signal provider for a 5-year period, according to the Digital Migration Policy for Uganda 2011. The broadcaster argued that the MoU had solely tasked it with installing equipment for the Digital Terrestrial Television Project for the capital Kampala, an undertaking that is in line with the global migration from analogue to digital broadcasting format. UCC terminated the MoU on August 21.

According to some reports, UBC based the withdrawal on Justice Vincent Zehurikize’s counsel, who had earlier asked the two “to reconcile, rather than clash.”

Zehurikize was earlier quoted by AllAfrica.com as saying it is “illogical for government bodies to get muddled in a bitter rift, yet they are expected to function harmoniously.”

Posted in: Telecoms

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