THE Ugandan government wants CBS, the Buganda kingdom radio, to pay compensation for inciting the public to rise against lawful authority, write Hillary Nsambu and Andante Okanya in New Vision.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
In a counter-claim, filed at the High Court on February 12, the Attorney General said CBS should pay the Government ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œaggravated damages for inconveniences causes as a result of (CBSÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢) unwarranted actsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. He did not state the amount.
He was responding to a court suit by CBS staff seeking damages from the Government for closing the radio station and depriving them of their livelihood.
The State said CBS ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œrepeatedly allowed and or permitted its broadcasting licence to be used for mobilising and inciting the public to commit violence and to rebel against lawful authorityÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
Referring to the September riots in several parts of Buganda, the Attorney General accused CBS of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsowing seeds of hatred and threatening social cohesion by promoting ethnic prejudice which culminated into lawlessness and eruption and escalation of violenceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
The violence, according to the Attorney General, resulted into disruption of business, the loss of lives and destruction of property.
He called the suit by the CBS employees ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfrivolous and vexatiousÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â, adding that it should be dismissed with costs.
Defending the closure of CBS, the Attorney General said since September 2007, the radio had repeatedly violated the Electronic Media Act and other laws by airing inflammatory statements against the Government.
He noted that although there had been numerous complaints, the radio refused to comply with regulations.