The jobs of dozens of workers at the Mbale based STEP Television hangs in balance following the abrupt suspension of all local programs.
STEP TV is owned by Step Broadcasting Corporation-SBC which also owns STEP FM and Open Gate FM. On Friday morning, staff of the TV turned up for their daily duties only to find the station locked and they were asked to return home without any explanation.
A notice signed by Charles Mukwana, the Managing Director SBC Media Center, notified the staffs that management has temporarily closed the TV station until further notice.
He said all local programming including news has been suspended. The notice however clarified that the station will continue to air Music, adverts and cable news programs like VOA, Aljazeera and CNN as usual.
It further stressed that no staff is allowed to access the TV station, except the station engineer -Hamidu Matende who is only allowed to access the TV’s control room.
The decision to suspend the programming at the TV station has not gone down well with several workers, some of whom also work at Step FM.
Some of the staffs who declined to be named for fear of being victimized fault the management for closing the station without giving them prior notice.
Some of the workers say the TV station has been their only source of livelihood.
They say they are not sure when the station will reopen and whether or not their services are still required since they were just asked to stay away.
Stanley Omita, the Manager SBC media center could neither confirm nor deny whether the affected staffs still have their jobs.
He however explained that the station was temporarily closed to help the management reorganize their operations for better service delivery to their audience. He explains that since 2007 when the station opened, it has been running trial programs.