Thursday, July 8, 2010

Central Broadcasting Service (CBSfm) case takes off

Kampala 08th/07/2010; Central Broadcasting Service (CBSfm) lawyers have asked court to trash the counter claim case filed by government with costs

The case hearing which began today 08th/07/2010 following the failed attempts by the high court judge Vincent Zehurikize to mediate to the two parties (government and CBSfm) to settle out of court, plaintiff lawyer Prof. Fredrick Ssempebwa argued that the government’s counter claim case does not comply with the requirement of law.

Earlier more than 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. Employees led by Florence Luwedde argue that the forceful and alleged confiscation of CBSfm 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. CBSfm has remained closed since then.

Prof. Ssempebwa contended that the counter claim does not disclose the course of action. “The counter claim must indicate the enjoyed right and must how that right was violated which seem not be addressed in the government’s counter claim” Prof. Ssempebwa said. All allegations made against CBSfm in the counter claim, there absolutely no allegation made against other private owned radio station closed in the aftermath of September last year.

He said the Attorney general based the counter claim case on the alleged complaints from government institutions and some members of the public which would have been arbitrated by the Broadcasting Council. “It’s the work of a statutory body (Broadcasting Council) to receive complaints and act as an arbitrator than using complaints to sue a party (radio station)”. Prof. Ssempebwa said.

However, the senior state attorney Patricia Mutetsi said well as the counter claim may not have specific title, it very clear in the body to whom it’s about.

Hearing of the case resumes tomorrow 09th/07/2010 at 11am.

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