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Mafabi Blasts Gov’t As Red Pepper Hits Streets

decease http://culinaryhealthfund.org/wp-content/plugins/slideshow-jquery-image-gallery/views/slideshowpluginslideshowslide/frontend_video.php geneva;”>“They said that taking over Parliament was the only way to gagged dissenting opinions. Now after you told them that it was not necessary and not sane they quacked and backed off, tadalafil ” said Mafabi, try adding, “They have now moved on to the fourth estate which is the ear and eye of an ordinary citizen.“


Mafabi was referring to statements made by Defence officials early this year that the army can take over Parliament if MPs continued exhibiting “lack of seriousness.”


Mafabi’s statement comes on the third day of a police siege and search of Red Pepper and Daily Monitor premises in Kampala.


The raids on two newspapers and two radio stations (Ddembe FM and KFM) are linked to a legal dispute in which the police have sought to obtain the source for an article by the Daily Monitor about the “Muhoozi Project,” an alleged plot to usher into power the son of President Yoweri Museveni.


“Listen, critically listen, it is the right time to hold on to what you truthfully believe in, because you are a victor the time you have been yawning for is here,” Mafabi inspired the media on Wednesday.


“My brothers and sisters you are victors hold on the nakedness is a public knowledge. We determine where we want to go and how to go there. We are our own agents and we can determine the change we need.”


Despite the raid on Red Pepper premises, the newspaper hit the streets on Wednesday morning. It gives a detailed inside story on why government closed the tabloid-turned-newspaper.


Activists say police abused its power by closing radio stations and newspapers’ printing press yet the court order only allowed for searching of the premises.


United States embassy in Kampala on Tuesday issued a statement, condemning the harassment of the media.


“The United States values press freedom as a key component of democratic governance. As Under Secretary Sonenshine said in her May 3 op-ed on World Press Freedom Day, journalists play a vital role in open and democratic societies,” the statement read in part.

“We understand Ugandan security authorities searched and disrupted operations at several of Uganda’s leading media houses in response to the May 7 publication of a letter containing controversial comments by a Ugandan general on presidential succession in Uganda.

These disruptions, no matter the justifications offered, nonetheless risk having a chilling effect on the freedoms of expression and speech enshrined in the Ugandan Constitution.”

Human Rights Watch said government should immediately end politically motivated police intimidation of newspapers and radio stations and ensure that the media can operate freely.


On May 7, 2013, the Daily Monitor published an article detailing an alleged conspiracy to frame or eliminate high-ranking members of the government who do not support a plan for Museveni’s son Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba to take over when his father steps down.


The article was based on a leaked April 29 letter written by Uganda’s coordinator of intelligence service, Gen. David Sejjusa (also known as Tinyefuza), to the director of the Internal Security Organization calling for investigations into the plot. Sejjusa is currently outside of Uganda but has publicly confirmed that he wrote the letter.


In response to the article, the police media crimes unit questioned the article’s authors, Risdel Kasasira and Richard Wanambwa, as well as the Monitor’s managing editor, Don Wanyama.


SEJUSA SAGA RAGES ON

When the journalists refused to reveal the source of the letter, police sought and received a court order on May 15 ordering the Monitor to produce the original copy of the Sejjusa letter and disclose its source. In a statement on May 20, the Monitor said that it was contesting the demand by the police to disclose the source of the story and that “the matter is yet to be decided.”

Information Minister Mary Karooro Okurut said Police went through the due legal process and secured a court order – which was issued by a court of competent jurisdiction (Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court).

“There is therefore nothing untoward or surprising about the procedures used, as great care has been taken to follow the law to the letter. For the time being the premises in question are being treated as crime scenes,” said Karooro.

“As soon as investigations are over – which will be very soon as police is under instructions to handle the matter expeditiously – the premises will be duly handed back to the owners.”

But Red Pepper Chief Executive Officer, Richard Tusiime says 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, but a long term plan orchestrated to cripple Red Pepper economically and disable its capacity to do business in Uganda anymore.”

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