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Journalists’ Body Warns Police Against Quizzing CBS’ Nsereko

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Police early this week summoned the political talk show journalist at the Directorate of Crime Investigations Department (CID) over a Buganda Kingdom-owned radio program that “exerted undue influence” on voters in Bukoto South ahead of a by-election due next week.

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The summons, issued on July 3, was signed by the police media crimes department head Fred Mirondo.

Nsereko is also accused of allegedly failing to moderate a talk show he hosted on Thursday June 28, 2012 thereby allowing the panelists to de-campaign a ruling party (NRM) candidate John Chrysostom Alintuma Nsambu who is vying for the Bukoto South parliamentary by-elections.

The panelists were Members of Parliament – Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality -DP), Mohammad Nsereko (Kampala Central-NRM), Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality-DP) and Kyeyune Kasolo Haruna (Kyoteera-NRM).

Police also summoned Nambooze to record a statement.

The seat fell vacant when court nullified the election of Mohammad Mbabaali on academic grounds.

DP’s Mathias Nsubuga and Nsambu are the main contestants in the race of seven candidates.

Nsereko is expected to appear at the CID headquarters in Kibuli on Friday July 06, 2012 at 02:00PM local time.

“We believe that the summons for Nsereko and requiring him to testify against the politicians he hosted on radio is a direct infringement on the freedom of the press,” said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.

“This would erode away the confidence the public has in him as a journalist and would abuse his right to protect his sources,” he added.

“Extracting information from a journalist to implicate some people would abuse the journalism code of ethics that empowers journalists to protect their sources.”

Wolukira further noted that such actions by the police are illegal and an insult to the journalism profession.

“This would set journalists in Uganda against every politician including members of the public.”

Nambooze told Chimpreports.com yesterday that she would not honour police summons, saying she was not only sick but was not “under any obligation to appear” at CID headquarters and whoever felt offended should go to court.

The recent development could drive a wedge between Buganda Kingdom and the Central government.

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