There is no joke, there is no play in concern for the journalists in the Republic of Uganda. This can be said after the Uganda Communications Commission yesterday has suspended the Daily Monitor Online Newspaper after publishing a traditional healer story connected with the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga on their pages in the end of January.
As that is happening, today, there was arrest of Next Media Limited, which are behind the NBS Television, who has arrested the wife Vivian Serwanjja of senior investigator Solomon Serwanjja, also arrested Kassim Mohammed, Rashid Kaweesa and Godfrey Badebye from the BBC TV. All of them gotten arrested today. As they were working on an investigation into government drugs and the black market trading in the Republic.
As that is happening, the journalists Raymond Wamala (Spyreports Uganda), Bob Atwiine (Spyreports Uganda), John Njoroge (CEO Magazine), Richard Wanambwa (Eagle Online) and Andrew Irumba Live (Spy Uganda) have been summoned by CID to be at the Police HQ tomorrow. Tomorrow they will be questioned and interviewed by the Police for certain stories they have posted or published. As they have been critical of the regime and what they are claiming. All of these has been there before, as the state tries to intimidate them from doing investigative reporting.
As, we see, it is a pattern, that repeats itself. Every-time someone digs deep or tries to uncover the truth. The state answer with intimidation, arbitrary arrests and even taking people hostage, like they have done in Vivian’s case. Today, Solomon has been hiding, therefore, the state took Vivian in instead. That is how they deem fair treatment of citizens and of the ones possibly exposing the oppression and unjust in society. While doing that, they themselves become criminals and outlaws. As they are just doing their job and trying to report on the events and acts that is done in the Republic.
The media is just telling what they are seeing, they are just exposing and revealing what information they are gathering and finding. They are not trying to make a situation look different than it is. They are trying to reports and explain the background and the context to all the acts that is done in the Republic. If the Republic and government has nothing to fear, then they should not fear journalists. But if the ills of society comes from the government, than the journalists will find it, as they dig into the realities and society they are apart.
Nevertheless, reporting and journalism isn’t a crime, they are just painting the canvass, they are not trigger the gun, but explaining why the person used the gun and the possible reasons for why the person used it in the first place. They are just painting the story, they are not creating the stories. That is reality, that is why these arrests, which isn’t new. The summoning of others, isn’t new either. In the middle of December 2018, the same people was summoned by the CID. So, they are doing it again, apparently.
The BBC has gotten arrested at Abim Hospital and in Kasese in recent years, as they were reporting both during the Campaign before the General Election. Also, as the Special Force Command was burning down the Palace in Kasese. I even remember the journalist outside of Besigye house in Kasangati, Wakiso, as Besigye was house-arrested. He was taken directly, as he was filming it live and was detained while he was on air. That was right after the General Election of 2016. These are just some quick examples, where the authorities has silenced the media. Because, they want to keep to people in the dark.
The Police continues to do this, the authorities wants this, but they are clearly sending the message, that they want to keep the public in the dark. Peace.
In yet another letter, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni reveals himself, the character he is and the micro-managing efforts he does have. Instead, of significantly finding the wrongs of himself and his management. He begs to change other peoples ways and tell them directly, where they have to change. Like he forgets that he is the ones that has created this situation and also, the greed for power has costs and the attitude of the public is like this. Because of the amassed wealth of the few, while the rest is scraping by. That is the reality that this President has created, but doesn’t seem to figure out. As well, as the misuse of security organizations to interfere in political atmosphere, creates insecurity, made by orders from above. Meaning him and the rest of the cronies at the State House. That is known, but also overshadowed in his writings.
Yesterday, the President released a letter written on guidelines to Security Organizations within the Republic. Nothing much was new there, but there was concerning aspects. As of the narrative and the ideas coming from the old man. Who is clearly set in his way and writing on default, without much consideration for the other parties, that have been following orders, but now got new guidelines. Apparently.
“Indeed, Uganda has been stable for a long time. It will remain stable. Therefore, nobody should be allowed to threaten life, property or orderliness (obuteeka) in Uganda. If you are a critic, do so truthfully and peacefully” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 28.10.2018).
“The involvement of the SFC, Military Police and CMI in handling law and order issues has been caused by the kawukumi (bean weevils) that had invaded the Police. Otherwise, they should not have been involved and they were never involved. I commend them because the main aims of the government were achieved: to protect the lives of Ugandans and their property. The image of the country was somewhat affected. That, however, will be repaired. What is crucial is the country to be stable and not just to appear stable. Nevertheless, for logical and legal reasons, the army and the other security forces can, if required, backup the Police in Law and Order Management” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni 28.10.2018).
These statements and typical ways of the President. Shows the insight into how he considers the security questions and how he look forward to ease the ways to peace. It is like he cannot see how the CMI, Military Police and Presidential Guards coming in as Police Officers as a problem, because he is the one most likely ordering it and giving the word to the underlings to strike. That is why he doesn’t seem to care about the attitude and the lack of protocol, only that the image is destroyed. However, he asked for, when he ordered torture, when he ordered the CMI and SFC to take matters into their own hands that bargain. That was a given after the melee.
The stability factor, is only because he is stagnant on his post, but the insecurity is rising, when he gives so much power to militarized organizations, who are there to secure the border. Not catch petty thieves or signal to the world, that you don’t steal Micro-Loans Money that was distend to Mzee himself. These public violent arrests, these killings of protesters and of opposition activists, Yasin the driver of Bobi Wine. Are all signs of the oppression and the lack of tolerance within the Republic. Just like the selective arrest of the people in and around Bobi Wine. Who only guilty of association, not of crimes on any levels. Except being loyal to someone else, than the almighty Bosco.
We know, even with these guidelines, more innocent people will die after a riot; more people will end up in a hospital, because the Security Organization and militarized organization will brutally silence the people. By any means people and most likely on orders from Jajja. That is just the way it is.
He can speak of codes, justice and rule of law, but it is not believable, as long as people are ending up for no apparent reason at SIU Kireka and arrested for association to someone else than the President. You know the stakes and stacks of cards is against the rebelling public. They cannot win and the powerful SFC, CMI, ISO and rest of them will silence the voice of dissent, whenever and wherever they might arise. That is just the way it is. Peace.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘GUIDELINES ON MANAGING RIOTERS, TERRORISTS, CRIMINALS AND LOOTERS AND METHODS OF ARRESTING AND HANDLING SUSPECTS’ 28.10.2018