Saturday, April 17, 2010

Radio station apologises to M7 for hosting opponent

KAMPALA - A radio station owned by former state minister for youth Felix Okot Ogong has publicly apologised to President Museveni for hosting UPC presidential candidate Olara Otunnu, it has emerged.

It is understood that President Museveni on Tuesday asked Mr Ogong, the proprietor of Voice of Lango FM and an NRM legislator representing Dokolo County, to make a public apology for having allowed his employees to host the former UN diplomat who allegedly defamed him. Mr Otunnu was summoned to appear before the police yesterday in relation to those remarks.

Mr Ogong on Thursday confirmed having received several phone calls from the President who demanded that the radio station apologise over the matter and retract Mr Otunnu’s remarks. “Otunnu paid for the show and he said President Museveni was behind the war in northern Uganda,” Ogong said. “The President was angered by these remarks. He (the President) rang to tell me he was not happy with people spreading lies and asked me to correct the information,” Mr Ogong, told Daily Monitor by telephone.

Mr Otunnu while speaking on Voice of Lango FM radio on Monday evening during a talk show hosted by the station manager, Mr Rolex Akena Ogwal, accused President Museveni of financing the war in northern Uganda. The talk show also featured Gulu Resident District Commissioner Walter Ochora, who counteracted Mr Otunnu’s remarks, calling them lies. The station has since run the apology, which aired on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The apology read: “Following the radio talk show which took place on Voice of Lango FM on Monday 12 April, 2010, featuring Mr Olara Otunnu – UPC party president and his cabinet, the directors and management of Voice of Lango FM have learnt that some of the utterances in the talk show angered the head of state H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The directors and management of Voice of Lango FM do sincerely apologise to the President and any other person whose feelings were injured by such utterance.”

Meanwhile Mr Ogong, who is nursing ambitions of challenging President Museveni for the NRM candidacy for the 2011 elections, on Thursday said he was getting threats from anonymous people claiming that his radio station  faces closure.

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