Kampala, 09th/July/2012; the police have grilled a Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) talk show host for three hours over a political programme he moderated last month.Meddie Nsereko Ssebuliba, a prominent talk show host in the country working with the Buganda Kingdom-owned radio CBS, appeared before the police’s media crimes department at the CID headquarters at Kibuli- a Kampala suburb. He was accompanied by his lawyer Mudde John Bosco of Katende, Sempebwa and Company Advocates. Others included CBS’s managers Robert Kasozi, Kawooya Mwebe among others.
He was grilled by a team of detectives led by Mbonimpa Emmanuel in a matter that had no one complaining about the contents of the radio programme. He recorded a statement after listening to the recordings of the programme in question. However there were no charges preferred against him.Nsereko is accused of allegedly failing to moderate a talk show he hosted on Thursday June 28, 2012 thereby allowing the panelists to de-campaign the ruling party (NRM) flag bearer John Chrysostom Alintuma Nsambu in the Bukoto South parliamentary by-elections. The panelists were Members of Parliament, they Included Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality -DP), Mohammad Nsereko (Kampala Central-NRM), Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality-DP) and Kyeyune Kasolo Haruna (Kyoteera-NRM). The seat fell vacant when court nullified the election of Mohammad Mbabaali on academic ground. DP’s Mathias Nsubuga and Nsambu are the main contestants in the race of seven candidates.
Nsereko told HRNJ-Uganda that he was not moved by the interrogations because they seem to be politically motivated. “I am not scared; this is meant to intimidate me. It is the usual police stuff. And I am very surprised that there is no complainant in this matter. Let’s see where it ends.” he said soon after walking out of the interrogation room.
“Nsereko’s case is a clear indication of how the state is bent on silencing the media and curtailing free debate on matters of national interest. Such acts infringe media work and should not be condoned by a human rights respecting society. It is a direct infringement on the freedom of the press. The journalists should avoid being used to testify against their sources of news, unless compelled by court. HRNJ-Uganda demands respect for the journalism profession and understanding of the core values of the profession, including the protection of sources of information.” said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.