Ugandan govt ban media coverage on opposition party campaign

May 6, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Gloria Nakiyimba

The Ugandan government has banned live media coverage of the opposition party Forum for Democratic Change, FDC‘s ‘Defiance’ campaigns and all related activities.

While announcing the ban in Kampala on Thursday, Uganda’s Minister for Information and National Guidance retired Major General Jim Katugugu Muhwezi warned that any media houses that continue offering live coverage of the Defiance campaign risk having their broadcasting licenses revoked.

The ban was announced on the same day the opposition had planned to match in the city in defiance to protest the outcome of recent elections. The constitutional court last week issued an interim order halting the activities of the Defiance campaign.

“Continuation of this campaign is illegal because it is a clear breach of the interim court order issued last week” minister Muhwezi told the media.

The Defiance campaign was organized by former FDC presidential flag bearer retired Col. Dr. Warren Kifeefe Kiiza Besigye to express dissatisfaction with the results of the February 18 presidential election, and demand for an independent audit of the election results.

Under the Defiance campaign party members announced Black Tuesday prayers.

They have been meeting every Tuesday of the week at the Party headquarters in Najjanankumbi in the outskirts of Kampala to pray under the theme “Free my vote”.

Another activity of the Defiance campaign was the sit at home strike which required party members and sympathizers not to go to work every Thursday of the week, but this was abandoned.

“Dr. Besigye himself has asserted that his defiance is intended to fail the swearing in of Uganda’s president elect Yoweri Museveni. This goes against the will of the majority of our electorate who voted the president. Such actions also violate the recent supreme court ruling which reaffirmed that President Museveni is the duly elected president of Uganda” said minister Muhwezi.

According to minister Muhwezi, the cabinet has directed police to ensure that the interim order issued by the constitutional court against the Defiance campaign is strictly adhered too.

“Cabinet also directed that all live broadcast media coverage of the activities of the Defiance campaign organized by Dr. Kiiza Besigye and his cohorts should stop forthwith” he averred.

Minister Muhwezi warned that any continuation to promote what the constitutional court has stopped is illegal, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by government.

“We had elections, they were over; as a government we have a duty to make sure there is security, there is stability, there is order” he said.

In a related development, police fired teargas to disperse protests by Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party supporters around Luwum and Ben Kiwanuka streets in the capital Kampala.

Chaos started on Thursday when two FDC supporters emerged from Nakivubo area within the city flashing the party victory- V symbol but were intercepted by police. Four other people were apprehended and whisked away in a police vehicle to the Central Police stations.

The FDC party leadership accuse president elect Yoweri Museveni of robbing the victory of their candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye.

Military police, Police and security personnel in civilian clothes were heavily deployed at the headquarters of Forum for Democratic Change and along the Entebbe highway in an attempt to block the party’s planned demonstration.

Police armored vehicles, police men in patrol vehicle, others on motorcycles and more on foot patrol were seen around the party headquarters along the Entebbe-Kampala Highway.

Police also surrounded the home of FDC leader Kiiza Besigye who was placed under house arrest this week. The Gayaza road leading to Kasangati the home of Besigye is also heavily manned and patrolled by police men.

The home of Kampala Lord Mayor elect Erias Lukwago was also surrounded this morning by police men in both uniform and plain clothes.

Security has been heightened in the streets of Kampala ahead of the swearing in ceremony of Yoweri Museveni scheduled to take place on 12 May 2016. Police chief General Kale Kaihura explains that the deployment is to ensure that the inauguration of president Museveni runs smoothly uninterrupted.







Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster


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