Court gives government a deadline over closure of Central Broadcasting Service (CBSfm) case.
High court judge Vincent Zehurikize has given government up to 17th/May/2010 to show commitment of settling out of court a case filed by CBSfm employees challenging the closure of the radio.
Over 102 CBSfm employees dragged Broadcasting Council to court challenging the closure of the radio arguing that the closure was unlawful and purported to revoke its license. They further contest council powers used to execute the closure contrary to the Electronic Media Act or any other applicable laws.
During the case’s third hearing today, Justice Zehurikize for the second adjourned the case to allow all parties to settle the case out of court. Zehurikize directed the attorney general chambers to talk to its clients (Broadcasting council) and make formal proposals which should be shared with plaintiff lawyer before 17th May 2010.
“You must come to my chambers on that day with something done, failure I will start the battle” Justice Zehurikize said. I must explore all possibilities of mediation and resettlement.
Broadcasting Council arbitrarily and excessively switched off five radio stations including CBSfm in the aftermath of September 10th, 11th and 12th riot. Three stations have since been re-opened.
He wondered why government was reluctant to resettle the matter out of court which is cheap, modern and easy. “In a civil matter the winner-loser situation is not pleasant” Justice Zehurikize stressed saying both CBSfm and government need each other. CBSfm is supplementing government’s work of educating and informing the public as well as paying taxes to government.
Employees led by Florence Luwedde argue that the forceful and alleged confiscation of CBS assets on 10th September 2009 was contrary to Electronic Media Act where Broadcasting Council has no legal right to withdraw license.
They are seeking compensation in damages and lose of over 8 billion shillings.
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