Note: This is our record of what transpired in the meeting. Not verbatim.

Meeting with Uganda Broadcasting Corporation

Discussed in the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Entreprises on October 28th, 2016

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The meeting was chaired by Anita Among, Bukedea Woman Member of Parliament and also the Committee’s Vice Chairperson. The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) team was led by its Board Chairperson Simon Kaheru and the Managing Director Winston Agaba. The meeting considered the Auditor General’s report for the year 2015.

Before resuming discussions on the audit queries, the UBC team presented a report on its findings on the UBC land in Bugolobi. In early August, this year, the committee inquired into the circumstances under which UBC land amounting to 23.1acres had been leased to private individuals. By the time of the committee’s inquiry, it was under the ownership of Hon. Margaret Muhanga, also Burahya County Member of Parliament, also a member of the committee.

The team reported that out of the 23.1acres of land indicated on the land title, upon survey the available land mounted to 21.06 acres with the rest of the land parcelled out to various individuals for 99 years who have already developed it.

These include; Zakalia Property Development, Jack and Harriet Mucunguzi, Moses Golola Luttu, Tusingwire Kareijja, Brig. Erick Mukasa and AGM Limited. These in particular acquired this land in 2004, before the formation of UBC in 2005.

The committee resolved that since they had earlier on established a subcommittee, chaired by Elijah Okupa, Kasilo County Member of Parliament to investigate this particular matter. It will wait for its subcommittee to submit a report and thereafter commence the considerations. The subcommittee has already visited the side land in Bugolobi. On addition to this, between 4th-14th November 2016, the subcommittee will also carry out upcountry tour of all UBC properties.

Audit queries.

  1. Since UBC management claims lack of resources to hire external valuer to undertake valuation of its properties and assets. The committee directed them to undertake their own internal valuation and submit an asset register to the committee in one month.
  2. UBC, board chairperson committed himself before the committee to have a corporate strategic plan for the corporation by the end of November this year. The Auditor General reported that the corporation’s strategic plan expired in 2013 and currently the corporation doesn’t have one.
  3. Current management asked the committee to summon Mr. Paul Kihika, former managing director to respond to queries regarding the emergency procurement of promotional materials amounting to Ugx 23.7m during the launch of signet due to unjustified reasons of delay by Uganda Communication Commission to release funds.
  4. The committee also directed the corporation management to dispose of old vehicles that are packed in its various packing yards.
  5. It also directed UBC management to adopt financial management policies of its cash inflows as well as taking serious measures on the protection of its land from encroachers across the land.

UBC management also informed the committee how they are struggling to run the national broadcaster with the meagre resources. The managing director noted that although, the broadcaster was supposed to get part of the funding from the tax on televisions this didn’t happen. The lack of adequate finances has crippled them to the extent that they can’t even afford paying their employees promptly.

They haven’t been able to pay their staff for the month of September because of the outstanding statutory payments (National Social Security Fund and Uganda Revenue Authority) they have started clearing.

The Board chairperson informed the committee that the process to structure the institution has commenced. Though in piecemeal, it will be complete between 3-6months beginning with the adoption of the corporation’s strategic plan.

The committee advised management to take the matter of having a strategic plan seriously because of its importance in running any institution.

The committee, vice chairperson adjourned the meeting to Tuesday 1st November, 2016.

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