STATE TO REVIEW CHARGES AGAINST JOURNALIST

Ntungamo, 21st/June/2012; The case file against a Daily Monitor journalist has been returned to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for consent.

 

Perezi Rumanzi, a freelance reporter with Daily Monitor in Ntungamo District was charged with incitement to violence. Prosecution alleges that Rumanzi uttered words that contravene section 51 of the Penal Code Act. The said words were however not on the charge sheet.

 

He was arrested by Special Forces Group (SFG) guarding the first Lady Janet Museveni on April 29th at Kyamate Cathedral which is the seat of South Ankole Diocese for allegedly compromising the security of the First Lady Janet Museveni by interfering with their movement.

 

At the time of his arrest, Rumanzi was covering the installation of the members of South Ankole Diocese Synod at St. Mathew Cathedral Kyamate in Ntungamo district where Ms. Museveni was the chief guest.

The SFG claimed that Rumanzi was arrested for interfering with the security of the First Lady, but later the police’s crime investigation officer said he was to be charged for sedition, while his bond papers had the offence of obstruction. He was finally charged with inciting violence which offence requires consent from the D.P.P.

 

The matter is before the Ntungamo Grade One Magistrate Francis Matenga. Rumanzi will report back to court on July 20th. He is represented by Monitor Publications lawyer Joshua Mariiro.

 

“The state is trying to bring up tramped charges against this journalist. Referring the file back to the DPP clearly shows that the case was pre-maturely sent to Court. This is a way by the state to delay the trial. We appeal to the court to handle the matter expeditiously so that Rumanzi defends himself.” said the HRNJ-Uganda Programme Coordinator Wokulira Ssebaggala.

HRNJ-UG Admin

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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