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Power of the pen

23 February 2018

A Commonwealth Correspondent has enacted real change in his home country of Uganda using, what he calls, “the power of the pen”.

In January, Badru Walusansa wrote an article describing the scams that were running on late-night radio, and how, in his view, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) was “not doing a lot as far as regulating content on radio stations is concerned.” He said the result of this was “daunting costs for the listeners who are manipulated and exploited by some radio programmes”. In a call to action, he urged the UCC as the regulatory body to “come out with clear guidelines intended to regulate purportedly social and spiritual programmes on radio” before adding that Ugandans needed “to see efforts to protect listeners from all sorts of exploitation”. 

The article, published on yourcommonwealth.org last month, resulted in a positive response from the UCC who moved to take action regarding “the nature of content and programming aiding and abetting electronic fraud by hosting conmen and witchcraft practitioners”.

The Commission has given ten working days to five radio stations to refund all money lost by different people as a result of promoting and advertising witch doctors. They also directed the stations to commit in writing to not to air the said content again.

Speaking on his action as a young agent of change, 26-year-old Badru said, “yourCommonwealth.org has accorded me an opportunity to actively influence change within my country. I have been able to positively impact society using the power of the pen. My writings have called on policy makers to action. I am proud to have leveraged my youth to make a difference in society. This has only been achievable through commitment to serve as a Commonwealth Correspondent for Uganda.”