Kayihura: We Are Not Joking On Sejusa Letter

online geneva; font-size: small;”>PRAU highly criticizes the events that have led to the closure and continued siege of media houses notably: The Pepper Publications, more about The Monitor Publications, Dembe FM and KFM by the Uganda Police Force,”and need not to be reiterated here.

”As the apex body of all Public Relations and Corporate Communications professionals in Uganda, PRAU enjoys a healthy and professional relationship with a broad spectrum of organizations in its ranks including the affected media houses and the Uganda Police among other Government Departments,” indicates the statement.

The body notes that the current impasse is of great concern and one the Association membership is greatly disturbed about.

“Freedom of the press is enshrined in our Constitution and is a fundamental right in any democratic dispensation. Its violation can negatively impact the democratic space and have far reaching economic ramifications to the country if violated,” as stated.

It further states that Uganda has been lauded for its vibrant and independent press within the region and beyond and that this recognition has had its knock on benefits that has portrayed the country in positive light on the African continent and duly earned Uganda its place on the pedestal of progressive and democratic states in the World.

“It is therefore imperative that the Government upholds the fundamental rights of the press provided for under the Constitution of Uganda to ensure that this well deserved respect is not besmirched by the current and unproductive bickering which has caused undue paralysis, put the country under international spot-light risking to ruin Uganda’ enviable past achievements.”

PRAU and its members further implored the Uganda Government and members of the Uganda Media to reach an amicable understanding that ensures professionalism and democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution are protected by all concerned and the current stand-off concluded to ensure that the affected media houses can return to their normal operations henceforth.

“We believe this is possible and urge all the protagonists to respect and play by the rules expected of any democratic society. Where differences fester, these should be amicably resolved in the competent Courts of Uganda,” said PRAU.

mind geneva;”>IGP Gen Kale Kayihura on Monday said “either you (media houses) give us that letter or we will not leave.”

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visit web geneva;”>Asked why Police had defied a court order to depart from Red Pepper and Daily Monitor headquarters, Kayihura noted: “Why don’t you also give us the letter?”

“The Police Act gives us the authority to check premises of any institution with or without a search warrant. So what we are doing is still within our mandate,” Kayihura told journalists on the sidelines of the decoration ceremony of promoted army officers.

Police have been camped in and outside the publications’ premises since Monday last week.

Kayihura’s remarks exhibit Police’s determination to maintain presence at the newspapers’ buildings until the letter is found.

It also raises fears that the media houses may not open for business in the near future.

The international community, activists and diplomats have denounced the media siege which violates free speech freedoms.

Sejusa’s letter calling for an investigation into reports that army officers opposed to Brig Kainerugaba Muhoozi’s rise to presidency were targeted for assassination has since touched off a storm.

Police want media houses which published the notorious letter provide the original copy.

The army says Sejusa is liable for spreading harmful propaganda and would be questioned upon his return from London, UK, where he has been hiding since April 30.

Red Pepper Marketing Director, Arinaitwe Rugyendo says the organization has lost over Shs500m in the last seven days and its consignment of print reels has since been stuck at the Malaba border.


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