“Former Presidential Candidate of Forum For Democratic Change Party Dr. Kizza Besigye has said that Justice Steven Kavuma’s ruling is unjust and lopsided. Addressing a news conference at his home in Kasangati, Besigye said the the Constitutional Court order blocking all defiance campaigns is one of the things he will defy. This came after Justice Steven Kavuma on Friday evening ordered the stay of all defiance activities including talk-shows on TV and Radio. Dr. Besigye says that Article 43 of the constitution only limits one from enjoying his rights if it is in public interest” (NTV Uganda, 2016).
30th April 2016, Oslo
Dear Deputy Chief Justice Stephen Kavuma!
You have raised the bar honourable judge, then I don’t talk about the amount of Nile brew you might poured down during the last judicial year. I write to you Sir regarding the assessment you made yesterday. As you said this:
“”An interim order doth issue against the 1st [Forum for Democratic Change] and 2nd [Kizza Besigye] respondents, their agents officials, supporters or any other person acting under their authority from engaging in demonstrations, processions, other public meetings, media campaigns or pronouncements including but not limited to the planned demonstration or procession scheduled for 5th of May 2016 or any other day in furtherance of the defiance campaigning pending hearing and determination of the main application for temporary injunction,” Stephen Kavuma said.
I know you must have had hard time lately, not been able to walk to the Workers house on the 9th Floor and eating with younger girls there lately. Time is a wasting, right? There are limited amount of time we’re living so time use sound reasoning Sir.
I have a hard time calling you Sir, as you have done something foolish. You have given an interim order that have stopped the grand party of FDC and their operation initially illegal. As the National RESISTANCE MOVEMENT can do what they like? Do you have problem that the country is run by the Resistance?
Defiance means defying and being disobedience. So honourable judge you have to have an interim order against any kind of teen-ager who is disobedient to their parents, because they usually defy their parents; neither if the kid is right or wrong them still do it. I propose you write a decree on Monday. This would be seen as being loyal to the Interim order of 29th April 2016.
While the resisting or resistance is from a Latin resistentia and meaning to Hold Back. So there are similarities between the disobedience and towards the men who hold back. And then my honour what is the full meaning of a Resistance Movement you might wonder:
“(also resistance movement)A secret organization resisting authority, especially in an occupied country: he went underground and joined the resistance’” (Oxford).
The NRM is not an secret organization though the accountability of it is lacking. As we know and you Sir Kavuma. But by your interim order against the defiance campaign you have initially made the Resistance illegal to. That means that you need to force and order of the secret running organisation that is resisting authority and holding back. Even resistance means that you’re a narrow-minded who doesn’t want’s change. As the resistance is used as refusing to comply to the orders or laws. Henceforth creating a Resistance Movement to build, which would be a loyal group working against the authorities to resist them and holding them back.
For me your honourable judge for the judgement is ridiculous in the sense. If made an interim order where you ban building boulevards, then you can’t build roads, could you? As a Boulevard is a thicker road with certain adjustments, while a road is something leading from A-B, but the same could be said about the Boulevard as well.
It is the same kind of mixture between the words of Defiance and Resistance honourable judge. Therefore as a sane man I hope you are and that you have your reasoning intact, a clear mind and does as your duty preside. To either abolish the order and say you did in a layman’s term a “Boo-Bo”. If you don’t do that you should as an honourable man do something about this Resistance and their will of holding back from authorities. They have to be stopped and should be hold in the same regard as the ones behind the Defiance campaign.
So the new interim order must be to change the NRM as they are spreading the same kind of venom and unfairness towards authorities with sounded mind like you Honourable Kavuma. I know that won’t happen as you want to be loyal to the pay-check and His Excellency who appointed you. Therefore to show him his honour you validated that with decreeing this interim order yesterday despite the lacking moral and linguistic authority to pull it off. As you will now be remembered for determined order to stop the FDC and their Defiance Campaign.
You should mind that this shows your value of your judgement judge. The interim order will be the landmark, the moment that you earned your coins in favour of the President Museveni, but not of the rest of the land. You have showed that you stand for empty principals and do not consider the real implications for your loyalty to the Resistance that is a narrow-minded man who doesn’t want change. That must be very bad, as I hope you have health coverage in Nairobi as the Mulago Hospital under current leadership is not that well-funded of late. So please honourable judge ask for coins to pay for your foreign health care visits in the near future as recite for your token of loyalty.
With best regards
Writer of Minbane
This happens in the same time period that Gado the cartoonist at Daily Nation has been under fire for his cartoons of Kenyatta and later was finally sacked for a cartoon mocking President Museveni. So there were already issues between editorial freedom and the government control of media in Kenya under President Kenyatta, as this story will show.
Denis Galava the former editor Daily Nation who got fired for speaking up towards the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta. This here is outtakes from his affidavit and is interesting as he was fired or sacked in the end of January 2016. The gaging of Kenyan Media comes to the surface and makes an impression!
Problems of November 2015:
“Earlier in November, the Editor-In-Chief called me to his office for what I presumed was a routine discussion on the investigation docket. We had lined up stories on Eurobond, Jubilie’s Mega Scandal, the death of the manufacturing sector and the collapse of the coffee sector. While not disagreeing with the merit of the stories, he said timing was tricky. For that the Aga Khan was scheduled to visit Kenya in December 2015 as a State guest and the presidency accused the Nation of malice for interesting scandals in government” (…)”Mr. Mshindi also asked me to ask popular Saturday Nation columnist David Ndii to stop writing about Eurobond and NYS Scandal because of his provocative analyses had angered the government and cost the company business. I out rejected the proposal, saying the columnist had struck in the letter and spirit contract of his contract and the reputational damage of us gauging him was not worth the risk” (…)”And the Editor-In-Chief, instead of defending our editorial independence, had chosen to gag us” (…)”My experience with the senior editors and we concluded that the Editor-In-Chief had privilege political sensitivities and personal biases over good journalism”.
How it all started:
“Completed the Editorial at 05:30pm and alerted the acting editor of Saturday Nation to revise it. He told me it was hard-hitting, but truthful. Since the paper was in the midst of a staffing crisis, I also took on a few other tasks that evening – editing the special reports section and ‘Page one’. I left shortly thereafter for the night” (…)”Woke up on Saturday morning to a social media fest over the editorial” (…)”Around midday, the Group Managing Editor (GME) Weekend editions called saying the editorial was hard hitting but objective. He received many calls, most compelling the Nation for finally speaking truth of power and a few from State House officials saying that the editorial was a declaration of war against the president”.
This continued with reactions from the State house:
“It also learnt that there had been a call from a senior State House official later that afternoon which was to be the first rumble the thunder in the brewing storm. The official asked why the Nation was ambushing the President in the New Year. He said the President was angered by the Editorial and intended to take it up with the Nation’s founder, the Aga Khan, who had been a state guest at the 12. December 2015, Jamhuri Day celebrations”.
Calls on Sunday:
“the calls had become more frantic in tone. I learned from the GME Weekend Eric Obino that the Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi had called him from India saying the government had threatened serious sanctions over the editorial. That NGM board chairman Wilfred Kiboro and called and also written to the CEO Joe Muganda and Mr. Mshindi demanding immediate action to appease the government. Matters were complicated by the fact that for three years, the Nation board and the local Aga Khan network had been trying to reach out to State House in vain”.
“The Acting Saturday Nation editor Kariuki Waihenya and GME Weekend informants told me they had received emails from the editor in chief asking them to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them over the publication of the editorial”
On Thursday – 5th January
“That morning, the HR director returned from leave for a conference call with the Editor-in-Chief, who was in India, and two Group Managing Editors for Weekend and daily editions (Mr. Obino and Mutuma Mathiu, respectively). After the discussion, the acting editor for Sunday Nation was given a first warning letter over the editorial, while his Sunday counterpart was also cautioned over the cartoon published on the January 3 that infuriated State House”
Later on the same day after picking up and taking his niece to school he got a call:
“the GME Weekend editions called asking me to join him at the responding to mounting fury, added to the prevailing bewilderment. According to his statement expressing the official position of the paper, I had not been suspended but rather advised to stay away for a few days”
On Friday – 6th January:
“the BBC interviewed Mr. Muganda over my suspension. Mr. Muganda said I been suspended for not following procedure in writing the editorial and went ahead to compare me to a bank teller who steal cash”.
On Thursday – 14th January:
“the HR Manager in charge of editorial Ms Jane Mkituri(Not sure) called me to invite me for a disciplinary hearing at 2pm on January 18. She also invited me to respond in writing to the issues raised in my suspension letter”.
On 18th January:
“In my response letter dated January 18, I protested that the procedures and guidelines referred to in the suspension letter were communicated to me for the first time in the suspension letter” (…)”While I had in the past either written or authorized editorials based on my judgement, the issue of procedure had never come up”.
Reaction to the letter:
“I was surprised to learn that two hours after submitting my response stating from there were no written procedures for editorial writing, the Editor-in-Chief issued – for the first time – comprehensive guidelines and timelines for writing editorials”.
On the disciplinary hearing:
“I was surprised that I had to defend myself to the very people who has accused me and suspended me unheard – the Editor-in-Chief, GME Weekend, HR Director and Company Secretary (Mr. Joseph Kinyua). I had expected a different, independent panel compromising at least one peer and individuals unrelated to the suspension the law states” (…)”The hearing turned out to be more of a dialogue of the deaf than even my initial cynicism anticipated” (…)”Every question started and ended with the word procedure, with an occasional dose of “disrespecting the presidency and endangering company business”. In 58 minutes, the duration of the hearing, I repeated 17 times that I not flouted procedure since, in actuality, there was no procedure to flout”.
The answer on the matter at the hearing:
“A panelist offered that he would be more cautious if he were in my shoes. Here I stood, he added, both having upset Kenya’s President and the Aga Khan, and risked the business of the paper, and yet here I also stood seeking justification rather than groveling for mercy”.
Continued part of the hearing:
“I explained that this section spoke of content and not procedure. None of the panelists cared to listen to me” (…)”Pushing the file I had given him aside, the Editor-In-Chief said I had hurt him, the tone of the editorial was disrespectful and it was risked the company business. The Company Secretary weighted in with similar comments, adding that this was the most disrespectful article on the presidency he had ever read and that I should be apologizing instead of defending the indefensible”.
Later on the 20th January:
“About 10am on Wednesday, January 20, the HR Director called and asked me to see him in the office at 4pm. He gave me the termination letter for “willful disobedience of the covenants and laid down process and procedures”. I protested this was unfair because in whole of my career at Nation”.
Together with the Gado sacking and this story of how the Editor-In-Chief dedicated the stories and silenced the newspaper and their columnist to fit the State House, is a worrying sign when we think about the up-coming elections in 2017.
That the media have to worry about writing articles to step on their toes and not be able to make stories that they can cover, as the President and his advisor will call the Nations Editor-In-Chief or CEO. As the State House want the investment from the Aga Khan and the State House want to look decent, and not have the story of corruption or scandals out! Peace.