Red Pepper Fires Back: Gov’t Wants To Cripple Our Investment

sickness geneva;”>In a press statement issued on Tuesday, page Richard Tusiime said management had been informed by its friends in government that “this is not about just a Press Release which was distributed to all media in Uganda, viagra approved but a long term plan orchestrated to cripple Red Pepper economically and disable its capacity to do business in Uganda anymore.”

He added: “We have been informed that the plan is to keep our offices closed for as long as they like, dismantle our new printing press, destroy our computers and servers by installing malicious malware and then hand over the junk when they are satisfied that we have been taken back to the stone age.”

Information Minister Mary Karooro Okurut was not readily available for comment.

This follows the shutting down of the newspaper premises by Police on Monday morning.

Police publicist Judith Nabakooba says the force is searching for a letter authored by exiled UPDF General David Sejusa (Tinyefuza) in which he hinted on plans to assassinate army officers opposed to the idea of Muhoozi ascending to Presidency.

But Tusiime says they complied with a search warrant from Magistrate’s Court in Nakawa requiring management to hand over to the police a Press Release that we had received from Tinyefuza’s lawyers and published in the Red Pepper on May 15, 2013.

“After consulting with our lawyers, we proceeded to hand over to the police a copy of this same Press Release. The police went ahead and carried out a search of our offices and cordoned off the area. Because of this, we have not been able to publish an edition of Red Pepper and its sister papers today,” says Tusiime.

“We are saddened and disappointed that despite us complying with the court’s request, the police have refused to vacate our premises and to allow us to carry on with our work. They insist that they are carrying out more searches for documents which they neither told us nor the magistrate who gave them the search warrant.”

Tusiime used the opportunity to remind all Ugandans and the international community that this is not the first time a raid of this nature is happening to Red Pepper.

“In 2008, men with guns, dressed in military uniform and riding government pickup trucks bombed this same printing press and burnt it down,” observes Tusiime, adding, “The act was captured on CCTV and despite a police investigation; none of the culprits has ever been brought to justice.”

“This latest invasion is therefore another attempt to whet their long held desire to cripple an investment that is employing hundreds of Ugandans. This is a classic case of economic sabotage in which the government turns against a business owned by its citizens,” adds Tusiime.

He maintains the Red Pepper is a law-abiding company.

“We respect the police and the courts of law. But we demand that the police and the courts of law do the same of law adding businesses in this country.

There is no justifiable reason why the police and the courts should deny the hundreds of innocent Ugandans who work at The Red Pepper an opportunity to continue earning a living. If there’s a criminal case to pursue, we believe the process can go on without necessarily disabling the operations of a legally established company in Uganda.”

Tusiime asks police and the courts to do their job without interfering with the freedom of the press as enshrined in the Constitution of Uganda.

Activists have since condemned in the strongest terms, Police’s siege at the Red Pepper and Monitor and the switching off of two radio stations, Ddembe Fm and KFM.

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