THE renewed reconciliatory gestures between Buganda and the government appear to have hit a rock after reports emerged of a deadlock over the re-opening of the kingdom's Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) radio, writes Emmanuel Gyezaho in The Daily Monitor.

The subject of switching CBS back on air formed part of the discussions between President Museveni and Kabaka Mutebi at their groundbreaking meeting on Wednesday last week, called to repair strained relations between Buganda and the central government.

However, the matter of revoking the suspension of CBS' operating licence is far from fruition, sources close to both Mengo, the seat of Buganda Kingdom and the Presidency, have informed this newspaper.

The station should have been opened by last Friday, but President Museveni, reportedly demands that it drops all political programming and concentrates on cultural issues and economic development -conditions that most members of the Kabaka's party flatly rejected.

The above demand was among the several the President advanced in his discussion with the Kabaka last week, as he made a case for CBS' closure, the sources said.

The President reportedly wants Mengo to fire vocal critics of the ruling NRM regime who have used CBS FM as a platform to "discredit the achievements of the government while promoting sectarianism".

Mr Tamale Mirundi, the President's press secretary, said the matter of re-opening CBS "is not small", adding that the key now lies with the NRM leader.

"I don't think anybody apart from the President can handle the CBS matter," said Mr Mirundi, a renowned critic of Buganda Kingdom.

"It is part of the 'ebyaffe' or if you like, some of the conditions that the Kabaka presented to the President. So CBS can only be dealt with in totality with all the other demands that the Kabaka presented," he said.

At the meeting, Kabaka Mutebi is said to have asked President Museveni to rein in Baganda officials serving in his regime who have taken to badmouthing Mengo.

Mr Mirundi was defiant yesterday, rubbishing reports that he would be sacked as President Museveni moves to make a few tradeoffs with the Kabaka.

"I am protected by civil service rules and as press secretary I am doing what I am supposed to do; protect the image of the President and fight his political battles," said Mr Mirundi, adding, "Those who think I can be switched off like candles are joking."

CBS's flagship political programme dubbed Kiriza oba gana, loosely translated to mean "take it or leave it" hosted by Meddie Nsereko, is among those the government wants scrapped.

Click here to read the full report, posted on The Monitor Online.