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Court orders police to vacate the Daily Monitor premises
Kampala 22nd /May/2013;Security agencies continue to occupy Monitor publications premises despite Nakawa Magistrate Court withdrawing the search warrant this afternoon issued on 20th May 2013 that led..
Security agencies continue to occupy Monitor publications premises despite Nakawa Magistrate Court withdrawing the search warrant this afternoon issued on 20th May 2013 that led to the declaration of the area a “crime scene” by Police.
“The search warrant issued to D/ASP Mbonimpa Emmanuel on May 20th 2013 in misc. Application No. 2005 of 2013 is hereby vacated in the exercise of the powers given to the court under S.11 (2) of the MCA, having been satisfied that in the process of execution of the said warrant the mandate given by the warrant was overstepped,” said the order issued by Magistrate Rosemary Bareebe of Nakawa Court. She also ordered the officer to return it to Court.
“It is unfortunate that media in Uganda continues to suffer under these wanton actions of security agencies under the pretext of restoring sanity and instilling discipline within the media fraternity. Stifling the press cannot be a justification to promote national interests, it only endangers the principles of democracy and good governance the government seeks to promote,” said Mulindwa Mukasa, the Chairperson of HRNJ-Uganda
The siege of Monitor Publications and Red Pepper newspaper by security agencies entered a third day searching for a letter written by Gen. David Sejusa to the Director of Internal Security Organization (ISO) over an alleged assassination plot on those opposed to the succession plan of the first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba reffered to as “Muhoozi Project”. The two FM Radio stations Dembe FM and KFM also remained off air for the third day.
“They (security operatives) ask us to open all our lockers so that they can look through all the documents there. Whenever they find a document that has either “Government of Uganda”, “Confidential”, or “Uganda People’s Defence Forces”, they photocopy, seal the original in brown envelopes and leave us with a copy,” a Daily Monitor employee told HRNJ-Uganda today.
The Red Pepper today managed to publish the newspaper but there are reports alleging that vendors selling the paper were arrested by security officers.
“This is so unfortunate, we do not know why they want to frustrate us to this extent because the court order did not stop us from operating but this looks like they want us out of business completely,” Arinaitwe Rugyendo, one of the directors told HRNJ-U this afternoon. He said the court order did not bar them from publishing but rather required to search the premises.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Ibin Ssenkumbi, denies allegations of arresting Red Pepper vendors. He told HRNJ-Uganda that Police is still studying the legal implications of Red Pepper’s action of publishing the newspaper and will take action accordingly.
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