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Red Pepper Directors, Editors Detained at Nalufenya - Lawyer :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Red Pepper Directors, Editors Detained at Nalufenya - Lawyer

Detectives cordoned off The Red Pepper premises situated in Namanve, along Jinja road, a day after the newspaper published a story claiming that Uganda was planning to overthrow President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. The detained directors are Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya, Johnson Musinguzi, Richard Tusiime and James Mujuni. The editors include chief editor Ben Byarabaha, and senior editors Richard Kintu and Francis Tumusiime.
 Five directors and three senior editors of The Red Pepper are still in custody after being picked up on Tuesday evening during a police search of the media house.

 

Detectives cordoned off The Pepper Publications Limited premises situated in Namanve, along Jinja road a day after the newspaper published a story claiming that Uganda was planning to overthrow President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

  

The directors believed to be in custody at Nalufenya in Jinja district are Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya, Johnson Musinguzi, Richard Tusiime and James Mujuni. The editors include chief editor Ben Byarabaha, and senior editors Richard Kintu and Francis Tumusiime.

 

The company lawyer, Dickens Byamukama, told Uganda Radio Network that police first searched the directors and senior editors' homes and later took them into custody at around 2:00AM. He says other staff were allowed to leave at around 10:00PM. He says the directors and editors were taken to Nalufenya, Jinja.

 

"They were taken to Nalufenya and we are wondering why. We were told that they will be brought back today to continue with the search. We are not sure when they will be released," Byamukama said.

 

The Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima says he will address the media today on the ongoing search at The Red Pepper. In a statement issued yesterday, Kayima said, "the initial investigations are being carried under Section 37 of the penal code which provides for the offence of publication of information prejudicial to national security.

 

However, this does not preclude other offences that maybe disclosed in the course of investigations," Kayima said.

 

The police raid was triggered by a story published by The Red Pepper issue of November 20, headlined; "M7 plotting to overthrow Kagame - Rwanda." 

 

The ministry of foreign affairs in a statement on Monday swiftly dismissed the 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 informed 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 condemned what it called abuse of the communication platforms the media houses “are privileged to manage.”

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