By Katabarwa Ronald
Yesterday 9th October 2018 was independence day celebrations. As I was watching the 7 pm news “Akawungezi” at NTV and the manner in which the news bulletin was broadcast portrayed the Serena giant as a totally biased and unprofessional station.
Ms Hatuma Nalugwa Sekaya was the anchor, the headlining stories were President Museveni’s speech at the National Celebration in Kyotera, FDC parallel celebration at Najjanankumbi, Maj. Akorimo’s disappointment with the government over his pension and how Guma the Sheema North FDC Candidate is dissatisfied with the election outcome and many others.
In my opinion, the National celebration in Kyotera or the launch of the National CCTV cameras were the major events of the day. And these should have been the first stories or at least should have been broadcast in the first episode of the bulletin. This is premised on one reason that whether you support or don’t support Museveni, he remains the President of Uganda. Whatever he says is important to everyone because it positively or negatively affects Ugandans and they must know what he says.
Surprisingly for me and many others, the President’s speech at Kyotera and launch of the CCTV cameras were not only aired in the second episode/part but also as the last two stories in this part as they were preparing to go for a commercial break. This doesn’t only expose the bias at the Serena based TV towards the Museveni’s regime but also the highly entrenched hatred for Museveni by the TV management.
But why all this bias?
The answer is one and the same. “Entry of Besigye blue-eyed boy Daniel Kalinaki.” Kalinaki was appointed last year as Managing Director of Nation Media Group, the mother of NTV Uganda. He had been working with Nation Media Group in Kenya until last year when he was transferred to the Namwongo head office as MD. Kalinaki is the Author of a book titled “Kizza Besigye and the Unfinished revolution” a book that praises Besigye and portrays Museveni as a National betrayer.
Kalinaki is a known Museveni hater and a Besigye apologist. Yesterday’s Daily Monitor headline was “Uganda Not yet Uhuru.” It is true that Uganda is not yet fully independent but it is an embarrassment and absurd for a mainstream media group to make such a harsh conclusion.
Kalinaki at NTV either axed or deliberately suffocated anyone that tried reporting balanced news or the editors that tried to be balanced. Top on this list is Maurice Mugisha who was NTV’s Chief News Editor and gave a balanced script for airing on TV. It is reported that Maurice was denied financial capacity to dispatch and facilitate reporters to areas that he thought were good for the news bulletins. Kalinaki manned the finances by himself at Namwongo and for Maurice to do anything, he had to get authorisation and facilitation from Kalinaki. This demoralised Maurice and he quit the Serena based TV to eat big at the National broadcaster as Deputy MD.
The second was News Anchor Sheilah Nduhukire who Kalinaki should have suspected of being a Musevenist because of being the President’s tribe mate and having covered most of the high profile interviews including one with President Museveni, first lady Janet Museveni and first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Sheilah was denied more of such interviews and sought refuge to NTV Kenya.
It is, therefore, a foolhardy and nightmare to expect balanced news from the Nation Media group and more particularly at NTV where Daniel Kalinaki has a lot of interest and deprived the new News Manager Josephine Karungi liberty to determine what appears on the set.