The Director of Operations Uganda Police Force, Assistant Inspector General of Police-AIGP Edward Ochom recently told journalists at a press briefing that 17 of the pro- Kyagulanyi broadcasters were picked up broadcasting live while wearing press jackets.
After a botched attempt by the government to convince tech
giants Google and Facebook block bloggers and broadcasters allied to the National
Unity Platform-NUP campaigns, police have resorted to arresting them ahead of
the Thursday elections.
On December 9, 2020, the government through Uganda
Communications Commission-UCC wrote requesting Google Inc. to block 14 Ugandan
based YouTube Channels for broadcasting messages that are likely to compromise
national security and incite violence. UCC sent a similar request to Facebook.
The implicated channels included Ghetto TV, Bobi Wine 2021,
KKTV, JB Muwonge 2, Namungo Media, Busesa Media Updates, Ekyooto
TV, Map Mediya TV, Uganda Empya, Uganda News Updates, Uganda Yaffe,
Trending Channel UG, Lumbuye Fred and TMO online.
However, the tech giants turned down request. As a result, security
has now decided to target the broadcasters by arresting them during their live
broadcasts. Several online pro-NUP broadcasters have been picked up in the past
during the campaign rallies of the NUP presidential candidate, Robert
The Director of Operations Uganda Police Force, Assistant Inspector General of
Police-AIGP Edward Ochom recently told
journalists at a press briefing that 17 of the pro- Kyagulanyi broadcasters
were picked up broadcasting live while wearing press jackets.
For Ghetto Media that broadcasts as Ghetto TV, two of their
broadcasters are incarcerated while another identified as Ashraf Kasirye is
still battling for his life after being hit with a rubber bullet on the head.
Ronald Mugenyi, one of the remaining three Ghetto TV broadcasters, says that
Government does not have the right to stop free media.
Mugenyi says despite the fact that he was not arrested, he
was assaulted terribly while broadcasting live and had to run away for dear
life. According to Mugenyi, he personally knows 13 broadcasters who are locked
up. They include among others Geoffrey Mutalya, Kalemwa Richard, Isma Ssema,
Nambooze Dorothy, Kaster, Geoffrey Mutalya, and Samma Uganda.
He says by going live they inform Ugandans abroad and in the
country on the actual situation on the ground.
//Cue in: “Me making a…
Cue out:… by the Government”//
Another broadcaster with MAP Mediya, says that Government
brought in the registration of journalists to get rid of them but they only
broadcast what Government does and they will not back down despite the arrests.
The broadcaster, who declined to give his name, says they will use all ways to
stay live and inform the world what is happening in the country.
//Cue in: “The Police took…
Cue out:…happening in Uganda”//
AK Rapid, who broadcasts for Rapid Media Uganda says
that all they do is capture Kyagulanyi and advises police to ensure that their
conduct around Kyagulanyi appeals to the world instead of violence.
//Cue in: “Ekyo tukilaba nga…
Cue out:…bagenda kubi kola”//
When asked about to comment on the arrest of the online
broadcasters and their offences, Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga just switched off his mobile number.
He did not pick various calls
made by our reporter on his cellphone.