Monitor Boss Fired After M7-Aga Khan Telephone Chat


capsule geneva; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-ansi-language: EN;”>Highly placed sources in State House say President Yoweri Museveni arm-twisted media mogul Aga Khan to swing the axe at Uganda’s most vibrant newspaper.

information pills geneva; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-ansi-language: EN;”>The newspaper confirmed the development in their Saturday edition though skillfully portrayed the exit of Gitahi as ‘voluntary.’

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try geneva; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-family: Cambria; mso-ansi-language: EN;”>“The Monitor Publications Limited has changed the face of its top management, with Dr Simon Kagugube as new board chairman and Alex Asiimwe as the new managing director,” Monitor reports.

“Dr Kagugube replaces Dr Martin Aliker, who has been chairman for more than 10 years, while Mr Asiimwe takes over from Dr Gitahi Githinji, who asked to retire.”

Museveni reportedly complained to Aga Khan during the presidential campaign season in January that Monitor was offering overwhelming media coverage to opposition leader Col. Kizza Besigye.

The President further complained that NRM campaigns were being denied similar coverage in the newspaper.

“They enlarge photographs of Besigye’s campaigns on the front page,” the big man poured out his heart.

Aga Khan pledged to look into the matter and take necessary action. This news website is not sure whether Aga Khan later turned the heat on the Namuwongo-based newspaper editors.

The development shows the clandestine iron hand of government in moving to stifle freedom of speech.


Matters were worsened by walk-to-work riots.

In April, shortly after Col. Besigye had travelled to Kenya for treatment after police splashed tear-gas in his eyes during arrest, Museveni telephoned Aga Khan.

The President made it clear that Monitor was responsible for the outbreak of walk to work by “over-amplifying the economic problems” faced by the country.

A source says Museveni angrily told Aga Khan that “I cannot allow one business to sabotage development of an entire nation. I cannot! This country does not belong to rumour mongers,” Museveni told Aga Khan, the largest majority shareholder in Nation Media under which Monitor falls.

Museveni said he had talked to Managing Editor Daniel Kalinaki “to style up” but was not seeing value of their talks.

According to the State House source conversant with the secret interactions between the two big personalities, Museveni said he had “tolerated Monitor’s lies and conspiracy theories” for long but could stomach no more.

He further said NTV was “spear-heading a revolution commanded by opposition leader Col. Kizza Besigye and his civil society groups.” Museveni even said Security Council had resolved that NTV be closed for 6 months for “inciting violence and attributing chaos in the city to police yet it’s Besigye’s hooligans.”

Museveni added: “That is not professionalism. Your people (Monitor editors) cannot go to heaven.”


Sources now say the last straw that broke the camel’s back was a story adapted from whistle-blowing website wikileaks alleging First Lady Janet Museveni had been transferred to Karamoja “due to her growing popularity in Kampala.”

Sources say Museveni can tolerate abuses not an attack on the first family.

“Museveni did not expect Monitor to elevate the rumour by splashing the photo of the First Lady, under a sensational headline, on the covers,” said the source. It was the story that cost Gitahi his fatty job.

As pressure mounted, Aga Khan ordered for measures to be taken. The Nation Media head office in Nairobi contacted Alex Asiimwe and Kagugube to take on the mantle of managing Monitor

The names were subsequently approved by the President’s office. On Thursday evening, a memo was sent to Namuwongo, communicating the ‘changes’ in Management. Staffs were informed yesterday!

Board Chairman Aliker, a very close friend of Museveni, stepped out for personal reasons.

Don’t miss an inside story in our Monday edition


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