Government of Uganda through its regulatory body UCC issues a 2- month ultimatum to film industry stakeholders to ensure they meet legal standards and requirements
The Uganda Communication Commission together with other government institutions have given all participants in the film industry two months to ensure they meet the legal obligations and standards, or else they will cease operation.
“The above government agencies have agreed to commence joint enforcement of all the legal requirements and industry standards by 1st October 2019, thus giving you two months to put your affairs or businesses in order,” the UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi stated while addressing at a joint sensitization workshop that was held at UCC offices on 01 August 2019.
At the workshop, the Media Council, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), UCC, Uganda Police and the Pornographic Control Committee (PCC) among other organizations present agreed to play vital roles in enabling the development and regulation of the film industry in the country.
As a way of raising awareness on the requirements and laws that govern the film sector, especially regarding production, distribution, exhibition, classification as well as laws on copyright, these government agencies will consider supervision of video halls, cinemas, video libraries and film publishers among others.
According to Godfrey Mutabazi holding this workshop was an opportunity for agencies to send a strong warning to those violating the industry’s legal requirements and standards.
“As government agencies, we are sending a strong message that signals the end of malpractices like piracy and unregulated business practices that have been hindering the growth of the film industry,” he said.
“In 2013, the Commission developed a licensing framework as mandated under Section 37 of the Uganda Communications Act, to streamline the production, distribution and exhibition of local content. We are aware that this could not be done in isolation of other laws or mandates administered by other government agencies,” he added.
Furthermore, Mutabazi pinpointed that this has been done to ensure the sustainability of film and drama as one of the country’s fastest-growing industries since it employs many locals.
During the same workshop, the chief guest Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity Rev Fr Simon Lokodo thanked UCC and members of the film industry for attending and respecting the workshop.
Fr Lukodo also requested casualties in the film and drama industry to team up in case they need the government to render them some form of assistance.
“Please group up and I am here to take your association to where money can be got,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the same workshop, the government agencies also announced that they had burned the sale of pornographic CDs.
By John Dalton Kigozi