Kampala, Uganda | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has appointed Nyombi Thembo, 59, as its new Executive Director, succeeding Irene Kaggwa, who held the acting position for two years. Thembo, a former State Minister of ICT, previously led the Uganda Communications Universal Services Access Fund (UCUSAF), formerly known as the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) at UCC.
The announcement was confirmed by the outgoing acting ED, Irene Kaggwa, on social media. She conveyed her congratulations to Thembo on his appointment.
The recruitment process for the Executive Director position attracted significant attention, with at least 70 applicants vying for the role when it was advertised in September 2023. Notable contenders included Thembo, Eng. Irene Kaggwa, Fred Otunnu (Director of Corporate Affairs at UCC), and Julianne Mweheire (Director of Industry Affairs and Content Development at UCC).
Thembo’s return to a prominent position within UCC marks a critical juncture for the regulatory body, which wields considerable influence over Uganda’s communications industry. The appointment comes just three years ahead of the 2026 presidential elections.
While Thembo has been less active in Uganda’s political scene, he remains a known mobilizer for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in his constituency in Kassanda South.
UCC, however, has faced criticism in the past for employing regulations on minimum broadcasting standards perceived as limiting free speech, particularly during politically charged seasons. The regulatory body has also faced scrutiny for perceived inaction against predatory practices by private institutions such as Multichoice and telecom service providers. The challenges and opportunities ahead for Thembo in steering UCC will likely be closely observed.
I wish to update you that Hon. George William Nyombi Thembo has been appointed as the substantive Executive Director of @UCC_Official. Join me in congratulating him on his appointment.
On my part it has been an honour to serve UCC, the sector, my country & the global industry pic.twitter.com/mP2F09PMnn
— Eng. Irene Kaggwa (@UCC_ED) November 24, 2023