Journalist arrested and ordered to remove article from former Prime Minister

August 10, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

Amama-Mbabazi

 

By

Robert Ssewankambo

The Managing Director of Ugandan based Eshato Publications, Pison Mugizi has been ordered to remove a message by former Prime Minister and Presidential hopeful Amama  Mbabazi  from a consecration magazine of the new Bishop of the North Ankole Diocese, Nathan Namanya.

Last week, Pison Mugizi and his colleague Robert Bingana were arrested while supervising the sale of the magazines at the consecration venue at Rushere, where President Yoweri Museveni was the chief guest. He was detained at Kiruhura Police station, from 9:00 AM and released at 7:30 PM without any charge against him. Copies of the magazine were confiscated and others taken from those that had already purchased them.

The North Ankole Diocese had contracted Eshato Publications to publish a consecration magazine of Bishop Nathan Namanya. The company was allowed to receive congratulatory messages from all Ugandans at a fee. The former Prime Minister and presidential hopeful Amama Mbabazi booked a page in the magazine, and so his congratulatory message was carried on page two.

“We had a meeting with him then we resolved some issues. After one week, we will come back to the meeting and resolve the matter. Mbabazi does not even know where North Ankole is; so there is nothing much there, we shall finish it, there is no need of Human Rights, no need of lawyers…” Canon Tinka stated.

Sources told journalists that during the meeting, Eshato Publications was told to print over 150 new copies of the magazine without Mbabazi’s congratulatory message. They were further told to apologise to the diocese for having incorporated the message in the magazine. Sources told the press that “State House put pressure on the diocese to have the message deleted.”

“We believe that this is violation of freedom of expression and the media. Free speech should not be criminalised by the State. The media should be allowed to operate freely even where dissenting views and opinions are concerned. Mugizi’s magazines should be released to him since no charges where preferred against him” a campaigner for human rights in Ugandan media stated.

 

 

 

 

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Robert Ssewankambo

Robert Ssewankambo is a Ugandan writer. Working currently on a freelance basis, he is a regular contributor to major newspapers in Uganda and electronic online magazines and media sources in Africa, such as the Bukedde newspaper, Hindered radio, Red Pepper, Eddobozzi newspaper and African Interest online.

For media enquiries, contact Robert at the following email address: sewankamborobert@gmail.com

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