Closed Uganda Newspapers’ Fate In Museveni’s Hands

ailment geneva; color: #222222; font-size: small;”>Chimpreports has learnt that President Yoweri Museveni is chairing a meeting of top Generals which will issue guidelines on how to deal with the closure of Red Pepper, Daily Monitor and radio stations – Ddembe FM and KFM.

Operations at the media houses were halted on Police orders on Monday after separate raids by security personnel.

Activists have condemned the raids and asked government to reopen the firms unconditionally.

The US Embassy in Kampala has also weighed in, slamming government for suffocating free speech.

Amid international condemnation, the UPDF Generals will today decide when the media houses should be reopened.

However, sources say some generals want Red Pepper and Monitor penalized for giving a wide coverage to the Coordinator of Intelligence organs Gen David Sejusa Tinyefuza’s “divisive remarks and harmful propaganda.”

Red Pepper news editor, Ben Byarabaha said vendors who were found in possession of Red Pepper copies today were arrested and detained.

“Taking Red Pepper fight to the street is a clear indication that some elements in government no longer want the newspaper on the street,” said Byarabaha, “adding, “Our newspaper agents have gone into hiding because security was asking them where they got the copies from.”

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi could not be reached for comment.

Byarabaha further noted that journalists at the newspaper are now demoralized.

“But we are not moved. We shall press on until we emerge victorious.”

Red Pepper Marketing Director Arinaitwe Rugyendo also on Wednesday met the European Delegation in Uganda which promised to intervene and press government to reopen the closed newspapers.

Meanwhile, MPs today tasked Internal Affairs Minister Hilary Onek to explain circumstances under which the media companies were put under key and lock.

“The media houses have not been closed. Police are carrying out a search in accordance with the law,” said Onek.

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