On Monday, April 20, 2020, during a show dubbed “The Cocktail” the moderator of the show Joan Nakintu Lule attacked her guest, Miss Uganda Oliver Nakakande, in a manner that was widely considered as unprofessional.
In a video that made rounds on social media, Lule is seen raising her voice and yelling at Miss Uganda. Despite Nakakande keeping calm, Lule went on to shout at her and attacking her co-presenters for criticizing her approach to the whole situation.
This prompted social media users to ask Lule to apologise to Nakakande after the video clip of what transpired went viral.
It is because of this incident that the Uganda Communications Commission has summoned the management of Top Television to defend itself against complaints that a program aired on 20 April 2020 was in breach of the Minimum Broadcasting Standards.
The Commission wrote to Top Television on 22 April 2020, indicating that a member of the public had complained that the station’s news broadcasts are not balanced to ensure harmony and that its presenters are unprofessional, citing the “Cocktail” program that aired on 20 April 2020 at 8 am as an example.
“The complainant alleges that during the broadcast of the show “Cocktail”, the presenter or host was unprofessional, failed to meet journalistic principles or ethics, and thus breached the broadcasting standards,” the UCC Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo wrote on 22 April 2020.
“The complainant further alleges that during the show, Ms Nakintu Joan Lule as a host of the program was unfair, lacked objectivity and impartiality required of a presenter.”
The Commission has accordingly commenced investigations into the conduct of Top Television, invoking sections 5(1) (b), (x), (j), 31, 45 and 41of the Uganda Communications Act 2013.
To facilitate the investigation, the station is required to submit a recording of the said program, alongside the program script indicating the theme and topic of discussion that was covered.
The station must also provide proof of requisite qualifications and registration of the producer, program’s director, and host of the program as required under Sections 5 and 27 of the Press and Journalist Act.
Also, the Commission has directed that broadcasting of the program be suspended until after the investigation has been concluded, to mitigate the risk of a further breach.
As UCC awaits an explanation within five days, Top Television has tried repair the damage with the moderator apologising on air, and the station issuing an apology of its own through a press statement in which it admitted that the presenter had “exhibited unprofessional conduct”. Despite Lule having apologised, most people trashed her apology saying it wasn’t genuine.