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By Mulengera Reporters  

Buyaga County MP Barnabas Tinkasimire must be financially a troubled man. How else can we explain his failure to pay rent (Shs800,000) for the 5-roomed residential house located along Independence Road Plot 19 behind Arua Hill in Arua City. For the last 4 years this house, belonging to a Kampala Ministry official called Henry Munduga, has been serving as the headquarters of Access fm (96.3) which the cantankerous MP owns and serves as MD. His other equally struggling radio, KBS, is been back home in Kagadi. 

Tinkasimire, who makes some good money from advertising deals from BIDCO, MoH, NGOs and local businesses, has monthly been paying Shs800,000 which doesn’t even come regularly. The very aggrieved landlord recently got someone with a better offer and raised the rent to Shs1.5m. When Tinkasimire said that was too much, the landlord demanded that he leaves.

Being rebellious and anti-authority as ever, Tinkasimire refused to quit prompting the landlord to refer the matter to court where Tinkasimire, who stands high chance to be named Minister in May, is supposed to file his defense. The landlord wants court to authorize him to evict the MP’s radio business which has many other financial problems and pressures beyond just rent.

In total, the station has 16 employees whose combined monthly wage bill comes to Shs3.5m with each employee earning Shs210,000 per month which Tinkasimire has taken 6 months now without paying. This medieval-like economic exploitation has prompted employees to resort to remunerating themselves by soliciting kickbacks and tips from newsmakers they report about in Arua City. As MD, Tinkasimire comes around once in a year because much of the work is delegated to a one Deus Tinkasimire who serves as Station Manager.

The disgruntled news reporters, editors and production team members have since ganged up and filed their complaint with the office of Arua City Labor officer who they want to compel their absentee MD to pay up their salary arrears. The employees are equally aggrieved by the fact that Tinkasimire, who is renowned for making a lot of noise against any form of impropriety in government Ministries, doesn’t issue them with appointment letters, job contracts or even work IDs because he fears to implicate himself as a modern day slave trader.

Recently, a news anchor, who was always getting arrested for breaching curfew restrictions, wrote a strongly worded email to the MD demanding for an ID, something to which top management responded by sending him on a one month suspension. The ill-fated news anchor must be at work at 5am and leaves at 2am. This puts him in danger of being arrested almost on a daily basis after failing to identify himself as an essential worker for whom such curfew restrictions are supposed to be waved. In his absence, the news editor Mr. Drabanga Madiba has had to become the news anchor as well. The ID issue is serious calamity at Hon Tinkasimire’s radio because even the station manager himself or even MD don’t have one.

All this hopeless has created more anxiety with employees wondering why the company account at Centernary Bank’s Nakawa branch equally doesn’t have any money yet its where all advertising clients deposit their payments. UCC last week published a list of 30 radios to be closed soon for breaching licensing fees regulations and Tinkasimire’s Access fm was among them. Dictatorial and intolerant to criticism as ever, the station manager has vowed to deal with whoever ever dare ring the MD directly raising their welfare-related grievances. Whoever is suspected of potential to instigate a staff strike or lead one has had to be summarily dismissed by the station manager who keeps telling fellow employees there is nothing his namesake can ever do to him. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at

This is the house which Tinkasimire is disputing over with his landlord. It houses his Access fm radio in Arua City.



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