The media industry in Uganda is facing unprecedented times. The future is bleak and jobs are on the line. From unpaid salaries to firing threats, journalists, especially in the rural and peri-urban areas are staring at uncertain days ahead.
At 87.6FM Crane Radio – based in Ishaka town, Ishaka-Bushenyi municipality, south western Uganda, journalists are unsettled over their future after the company failed to remunerate its workers over the past 12 months.
Its a period of uncertainty as journalists are struggling to send their children to school, clear rents or meet their other responsibilities and cater for personal needs as a result of unpaid salaries, which have accumulated.
Sources close to the company revealed that over 12 months’ salary arrears rattled the staff. Many are running on empty stomachs and accumulating debts to survive, with almost no sign of the likelihood of things changing in the near future.
In an effort to see that they are paid their salaries, anonymous source reveals, workers are instead served with firing threats and a few have already lost their jobs under unclear circumstances.
About six former employees were allegedly fired after they demanded for their payments while other talents signed off or disembarked the sinking ship at the Ishaka-based station.
The workers who were allegedly fired are Shaka Bitama, Maggie Omuhango, Senior Samz Akampa, Dickson Rwamutwe, Koburunga Daphine, Arinaitwe Gerald and Mzee Karefu. Hon Muwonge Abu also left after asking for money and they failed to pay him.
Rwamutwe says that he was demanding for 7 months arrears but opted for a quick resignation after he received threats to sack him.
“Ya, it’s true they don’t pay. I was not given a letter as they said l continue working then l decided to resign. Only cashier and manager are getting money means there is poor management. Workers are just being quiet because they fear losing their jobs,” he said
The workers blame manager Adellah Orishaba and Administrator Hon Adam Semugabe for failing to fulfil their promises. Hon Semugabe and Adellah took over management of Crane Radio in December 2021 and promised to pay salaries for workers which was the long problem of the radio under the management of Joselyn Kategaya and Mr Jjuko.
By that time, workers striked and some senior journalists and reporters laid down tools but had hopes in the new management that some responded when they were recalled to work.
However, according to reports workers have been waiting for change and their salary arrears since that time (2021) but nothing has been achieved and the situation gets worse everyday. They note that whenever one asks for his/her salary they are chased with immediate effect.
One of the workers who was fired for asking for money during Christmas season blames management for being materialistic and not taking workers’ issues serious.
“They have money because we bring businesses , they play talkshows even those of CDs (Recorded Shows) but it’s really hurting that you can’t even ask for airtime and they give it to you, we have families to look after but the situation at Crane Radio can make you hate media”, he explained.
Another former worker told this website that Crane Radio likes using quack journalists who in turn have turned into a problem at the station. He said the manager even neglected the station duties after landing at a juicy job on a new Mbarara based Sky TV station.
This website tried to contact some of the current workers about the matter but most of them could not talk about this issue for the fear of losing their jobs.
Attempts to speak to the station manager, Adella Orishaba for a comment were futile.
Crane Radio is one of the most renown radio stations in the greater Bushenyi districts and is owned by a prominent Ugandan Businessman Dr. Al Hajji Hassan Basajjabalaba.Follow Us