ChimpReports has rushed to High Court in Kampala seeking an order setting aside the interim injunction by Assistant Registrar Joy Kyabagye Bahinguza restraining its agents, order employees and servants from publishing content related to investigations in the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Kyabagye, on Friday April 21st heard an exparte application where only the Attorney General was represented by Geoffrey Madete before granting the order that restrains four media houses including ChimpReports from publishing what was termed as series related to the investigation of the murder Kaweesi.
The application was based on the affidavit of Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, in which he said the publications are a threat to the ‘delicate’ investigations of the high profile case being carried out by the police force.
The four media houses restrained include Chimp Media, The Investigator, The Ugandan and Red Pepper Publications.
However, through his lawyers of Centre for Legal Aid, ChimpReports’ Managing Editor, Giles Muhame argues that; “the learned assistant registrar erred in law and fact when she irregularly, improperly and illegally issued the impugned order in their absence.”
ChimpReports’ lawyers say that the “Assistant Registrar erred in law when she issued the order without proof of the appellants’ possession of any classified material whose publication would cause threat to national security.”
They further argue that the Assistant registrar “failed to carry out the requisite balancing exercise in respect of the competing rights and interests at stake.”
The order issued by Kyabagye also lacks a definite period, something ChimpReports’ lawyers say “denied the appellants an early opportunity to argue against its continuity pending disposal of State’s application which is scheduled for August 21st.”
They demanded that High Court sets aside the order so as to “promote the appellants’ constitutional rights to a fair hearing, freedom of expression and equal protection of the law.”
AIGP Kaweesi was shot and killed on Friday March 17th by yet to be identified assailants as he left his home in Kulambiro, Nakawa Division in Kampala District.
An investigation by Police and its sister security agencies has led to the arrest of a number of people, 13 of whom were charged on Friday April 21st.
Police has however remained mute on the progress of the investigations; further seeking to stop independent media from publishing any content in regard to the investigation.
Lawyers will argue that the decision to challenge the injunction is premised on the belief that freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and should never be restrained.”
They will add that estrictions on Freedom of Media means free speech is imperiled, big questions go undebated and great lies become accepted.
The High Court has received the notice of motion although hearing date for the application has not been fixed yet.