We are not fighting you UBC tell Museveni as tensions escalates

Nader Anderson, the lady charged with using the revamp period to revive the vibrancy of the TV section at UBC, has furiously reacted to claims that she is a saboteur using her position at the national broadcaster to undermine the President and everything else that his NRM party stands for. In a phone interview with this news website, Nader confirmed what sources had told us and made lengthy clarification insisting that “whereas that is basically true,” context was important. Dependable state house sources had told us the President was furious on reading an intelligence report disclosing the fact that, whereas private TVs like NBS and NTV broadcast his post budget-reading speech to the end, UBC TV didn’t and this was on the orders of Nader Andersen. The intelligence brief concluded by urging the President to reprimand some people at the ICT ministry for this hostile action given that he has personally been at the forefront supporting the revamp exercise of the national broadcaster and went as far as ensuring that PSST Keith Muhakanizi avails Shs20bn to fund that exercise. We are indeed told the authors of the brief erroneously described Nader as “this hostile Russian expatriate.” On reading it, Museveni wondered how Russians had come to run UBC.
In the phone interview, Nader confirmed that indeed UBC didn’t complete broadcasting the President’s full speech and this is something that was discussed and agreed upon in the ICT Ministry top management meeting prior to the budget occasion. She said she duly informed her supervisors at Parliamentary Avenue (ICT House) that, because of the obligations imposed by the FIFA contract UBC had concluded on the Wednesday before the budget reading, UBC TV wouldn’t be able to air the budget ceremony to the end. “A lot of effort went into those negotiations to get those FIFA broadcasting rights to air those world cup games. The contract was completed on Wednesday and budget was next day. We couldn’t begin breaching such an important international contract just the next day. They gave us to air those matches for free yet it ordinarily shouldn’t have cost less than $450,000. The understanding was we must air the games as given to us. I came to UBC to reduce the debt burden into which the corporation had sunk. It had a debt of Shs8bn and any breaches at this time could only sink us deeper,” she explained adding that “fortunately the President clearly understands these things and can’t have a problem with our prudent decision-making.” She explained that at the ICT Ministry meeting, it was decided that when time for the world cup matches comes, UBC TV would drop the President’s speech and carry on with soccer as required in the FIFA WC contract which she insisted was a major milestone at this time when UBC TV is struggling to win back audiences. She explained that as UBC TV went into airing World Cup, Star TV and the other UBC outlets carried on with the President’s address to the end. Sounding freely and spontaneously truthful, Nader confirmed: “It’s true this is something that has come up and I have had to explain myself to the PPU and the President’s Press Secretary because I take responsibility as the head TV even when the decision was taken and shared in the ministry meeting.” She said: “The overall UBC MD [Winston Agaba] was supposed to communicate that situation to the PPU in advance but he didn’t because it was at short notice. The contract came through on Wednesday and budget was next day. He somehow failed to alert them on time but they understood the situation when I explained.” She said she is aware there are many long serving UBC employees who are out to demonize her personally because “they aren’t used to operating in an environment of discipline similar to what we have put in place.” She said she wouldn’t be surprised if such disgruntled employees, likely to lose their jobs because they lack minimum qualifications to work at the revamped UBC, tried to ride on such small things to create a wedge between her and State House in the hope that can weaken her and break her resolve to insist on normalcy returning to UBC. She maintained it had to be Agaba, and not her, interfacing with PPU and the Press Secretary Don Wanyama because he is protocol-wise the appropriate officer to interact with such officials. “Poor me I’m way below almost 4 positions below the MD when it comes to protocol. He is the one to deal with them and not me and that is the protocol,” said Nader insisting that anybody who knows the value of broadcasting contracts similar to what she secured with FIFA, amidst all the chaos previously at UBC, should be proud of the value-addition she has brought to the national broadcaster. She said it’s unfortunate, even when she is a Ugandan citizen having lived and traded in Uganda for more than 25 years now, there are still people wishing to stigmatize her as if she is a foreigner. She said it’s those disgruntled UBC workers trying to fight her, yet the revamp team comprises of many other people, that will in the end emerge losers and not her. “I feel I have a contribution to make for this country and given my age, the time has to be now and it’s what I’m focusing on: giving back to this country,” she said. She added that the great UBC she is working to put in place will make the President proud and there is no way her efforts to bring in lucrative projects like FIFA, that are going to bring in big money, can be misconstrued to be political sabotage. She explained that any serious Ugandan must be proud to have a vibrant national broadcaster “and that’s the effort I and other revamp team members are working towards.”
Mulengera news 

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