Uganda police demand journalists to name their source

Uganda police in Kampala are demanding that journalists name their source for their information about alleged plots to assassinate key military and government officials who they deem might oppose alleged plans that President Yoweri Museveni has to insure that his son is his successor.

Despite interrogation by the Ugandan Criminal Investigation Department for three days to force the authors of the story and the managing editor of the Monitor for three days to reveal the source of their information, they steadfastly refused to provide the police name of the source.

Because of this refusal by the journalists to disclose their source, police in Uganda’s capital have shut down the offices of  the Daily Monitor. A senior correspondent working for the Daily Moniter reportedly stated that the Ugandan police consider the premises of the publication to be a crime scene.

As a response to the refusal of the journalists, Uganda police obtained a court order telling the journalists to name their source, and also authorizing police to search for a letter written by the general that is held in the publication’s offices.

They are doing a thorough searching the building thoroughly in attempts to discover further evidence about the supposed plot.

The raids on the Daily Monitor and a second newspaper, The Red Pepper, came after both newspapers printed a leaked confidential memo.  Around 50 armed policemen took part in the search of  the premises of both newspapers.

A source at The Red Pepper newspaper said that “heavily armed” officers had told staff they “are not allowed to leave the premises and no one is allowed in.”

In the memo, David Sejusa Tinyefuza, a senior general, alleged that President Yoweri Museveni was preparing his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba to succeed him.  Allegedly, Museveni was also plotting to assassinate anyone who voiced opposed to the plan.

General Tinyefuza has never admitted that he was not the author of the memo.

The Uganda police officials claim that the memo was doctored by the media, which is what resulted in their investigation.

According to Ugandan government spokesman Fred Opolot,  the security of the country was compromised when  the newspapers published the  letter.

“It is alleged by the police [the letter] was doctored by some of the media houses and that prompted an investigation,” Opolot stated.

General Tinyefuza admits in the memo:

“I gave detailed intelligence information of some of those claims, like the so-called project of the son being fast tracked outside the law to hold serious positions, many of which he may not be qualified by the set standards, like experience in command and seniority.”

Numerous other generals and government officials, including police chief Kale Kayihura, chief of defence Aronda Nyakirima and Museveni’s brother Salim Saleh, expressed their condemnation of Tinyefuza’s memo and have gone out of their way to denounce it.

President Museveni is in his late 60s. He has led Uganda since he took over the reins of the country in a 1986 coup.  Kainerugaba Muhoozi, his son, commands the special forces group who are responsible for presidential security.

Written by: Douglas R. Cobb


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