, 14 February, 2020 / 1:43 AM
After two years of engaging the Catholic community in fundraising toward the establishment of the first-ever Catholic television in the East African nation of Uganda, the Bishops have announced inaugural broadcasts, the free-to-air channel transmitting its signal within a 60km-radius in the area covering the country’s capital, Kampala.
In the Bishops’ February 10 statement, the Chairman of the Social Communications Commission for Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC), Bishop Joseph Franzelli announced, “I am glad to officially inform you that on Wednesday, 5th February 2020, Uganda Catholic Television (UCTV) was connected by Signet Uganda to transmit on Free to Air.”
Bishop Franzelli added, “UCTV is transmitting within the greater Kampala region, which covers a radius of about 60 km. You should be able to receive the signal if you are within the 60 km radius and have a digital TV set connected to an antenna or a Free to Air decoder.”
“We are still TESTING our Signal and this might take a few months. I would also like to point out that we are making arrangements to have the signal reach to all parts of the country through the various Pay TVs. We are therefore requesting your patience,” The Bishop Emeritus of Uganda’s Lira Diocese said in his statement shared with ACI Africa.
The 77-year-old Italian-born Comboni Missionary thanked his brother Bishops under UEC “for the initiative of establishing a national Catholic television, which is an important tool for the Church's work of evangelization and integral human development in our country.”
“I thank all the Clergy, Religious, our Lay Faithful and all the people of good will who have contributed financially and in other ways towards this project. I greatly appreciate the Social Communications Commission, the staff of Uganda Catholic Secretariat and the technical team that have made this TV a reality,” the Italian Prelate said.
He continued, “I thank our various consultants and other stakeholders for their support and guidance. In particular, I appreciate CREC International and their team for the consultancy services. We still need and count on your support and collaboration.”
The Prelate prayed “that the Lord blesses UCTV so that it may truly be "Good News for All" as its slogan states.”
The station will enrich the economic, political, social, cultural and all aspects that shape human life based on the social teaching of the Catholic Church, Radio Sapienta has reported.
“The Catholic Television is coming to bridge the gap of Catholic identity in the field of Tele (audio-visual) broadcasting in Uganda,” the Executive Secretary of the Social Communications Commission of UEC, Fr. Philip Odii has been quoted as saying.
In their June 2018 Press Conference, the Bishops in Uganda announced the acquisition of a broadcasting license from Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and expressed their expectation that the TV realizes “a national coverage for the promotion of the Church's work of evangelization and integral human development in our country.”
Efforts to establish the station seems to have gained momentum by December 2018 when the Bishops announced that plans to set up UCTV had reached advanced stages and appealed for more financial support from Christians.
“I am, therefore, kindly requesting every Catholic Faithful and all people of good will to make a humble but very important contribution of at least UGX.2,000.00 (USD.0.5.00) towards the TV project,” UEC Chairman, Bishop Joseph Antony Zziwa had appealed in view of getting UGX.2billion (USD.540,000.00) by mid-January 2019.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa