Monday, 20 May 2013

Uganda police close down Monitor

Uganda police siege Monitor Publication Ltd office on Eight Street Namuwongo, Kampala on May 20, 2013. Photo/STEPHEN WANDERA
 Uganda police siege Monitor Publication Ltd office on Eight Street Namuwongo, Kampala on May 20, 2013

The Uganda Police have closed down The Monitor newspaper and its two sister radio stations – KFM and Dembe FM, declaring the newspaper’s premises a “scene of crime”.
In 10 years, the newspaper for the second time since 2002 was surrounded by gun wielding policemen with an order to search the premises for Gen David Sejusa’s letter.
At 11:15am, three fully packed Police Patrols arrived at the main offices. Two vans park at the end points of the Monitor building and one is parked just near the main entrance.
The officer’s jump off the vans and start chasing away civilians who were standing outside the Daily Monitor premises, including the Boda Boda riders who, on a daily basis, park at the entrance waiting for journalists going to the field.
The men in uniform have a search warrant to even search production plant for the Gen David Sejusa’s letter.
In a press statement, Police Spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, said the police received intelligence information that there are people who have started scanning signatures of senior government officials “with the intention of using the said signatures on documents claiming they are official documents from government whereas not.”
Police officers on the scene lead by Deputy CID Director Godfrey Musana told Monitor Publications Management that the newspapers premises have been declared a scene of crime, and no operations could continue.
Security sources say the state is cracking the whip over the media’s reporting of the frenzy surrounding President Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s prospects for president – dubbed by Coordinator of Intelligence Services Gen David Sejusa as “Muhoozi Project”.
Mr Alex Asiimwe, the Monitor Publications Limited (MPL) managing director, described the situation as “very surprising and unfortunate’.
“We are seeing police men wielding guns but no one is giving us a communication on what is happening,” he said. “But we are trying to make sure the situation normalises as early as possible.”
Determined to cripple the day’s activities at the Monitor, electricians were called in to disconnect the offices from the grid.