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Police Seals Off Red Pepper Offices Over Rwanda Govt Story :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Police Seals Off Red Pepper Offices Over Rwanda Govt Story

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Detectives from the Uganda Police Force have sealed off the offices of the Red Pepper Publications Limited over a story published on Monday claiming that Uganda was planning to topple the Government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
The police search warrant
Detectives from the Uganda Police Force have sealed off the offices of the Red Pepper Publications Limited over a story published on Monday claiming that Uganda was planning to topple the Government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Arinaitwe Rugyendo, one of the company directors told Uganda Radio Network that over 50 police officers from the criminal investigations Directorate and counter terrorism have this evening sealed off their offices situated in Namanve, along Jinja road. 

Rugyendo says the police came with a search warrant granted by Buganda Road Magistrate James Ereemye Mawanda.  

“Staff are being ordered to handover phones, iPads, laptops. Red Pepper police siege ; staff told to leave,” he tweeted.

He says they are cooperating but are unsure when the search will be completed. Rugyendo also says the company is not sure whether tomorrow's publications will not be affected by the ongoing search.

The search warrant given to D/AIP Walya Henry Peter says “It has been proved to me that in fact according to reasonable suspicion the following thing/things: to be searched include laptops, desk tops, CPUs, computer accessories (electronic) and any other documents related to Red Pepper news publication of Monday, 20th November 2017."

The Red Pepper issue of November 20 published an article headlined; “M7 plotting to overthrow Kagame – Rwanda.”  The ministry of foreign affairs in a statement yesterday swiftly dismissed Red Pepper's story as reproduction of a malicious article by a Rwandan online publication “Rushyashya” of an alleged plan by the Ugandan Government to overthrow the Rwanda Government.

The Ministry Permanent Secretary' Ambassador Patrick Mugoya said the two countries are currently enjoying strong and cordial relations.

“The Ministry informs the citizens of both Uganda and Rwanda that the continuous innuendo by the likes of ‘Rushyashya' and various other media outlets both in Uganda and Rwanda, including The Red Pepper is mischievous at best, irresponsible at worst and meant to sow discord between our two sister nations. The ministry condemns such abuse of the communication platforms they are privileged to manage,” the statement reads in part.

Ambassador Mugoya noted that bilateral ties between Uganda and Rwanda "remain solid and Rwanda remains a strategic partner to Uganda" in both countries' visions for integration and for peace and security in the region.

The Permanent Secretary also cautioned the public to ignore a list of alleged grievances against Uganda by Rwanda that is being shared on various media outlets and platforms. 

“There has been no concern raised through the agreed official channels by either State and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no reason to suggest anything to the contrary,” he said.

The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence last month arrested six police officers and three foreign nationals who are accused of kidnapping and repatriating Lt. Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard to President Paul Kagame, to Rwanda in 2013.

Those arrested include former commander Police Special Operations Unit Nixon Agasiirwe, Senior Commissioner of Police Joel Aguma, Sgt Abel Tumukunde, James Magada from Crime Intelligence, Faisal Katende from Flying Squad and Amon Kwarisima, Rene Rutagugira who are Rwandan and Bahati Mugenga, a Congolese national.  

This is not the first time the publication has been raided by the police. In May 2013, the police raided and shut down media houses including The Red Pepper and the Monitor Publications for writing stories related to a dossier authored by General David Sejusa. 

Sejusa, then working as coordinator of Security Services, authored a document claiming that the Uganda government was targeting selected political and military officers who opposed President Museveni's plan to hand over power to his son, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Sejusa later escaped and went into exile before returning 16 months later.   

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