Ugandan police raid two newspapers, radio station

May 20, 2013 5:55 pm


Police officers stand outside the Monitor offices in Kampala/COURTESY MONITOR-RACHEL MABALA
Police officers stand outside the Monitor offices in Kampala/COURTESY MONITOR-RACHEL MABALA
KAMPALA, May 20 – Ugandan police raided two newspaper offices and two radio stations Monday, after reports of a falling out among army generals over whether the president’s son is to succeed him.

“Police ordered our operations shut down under the pretext of carrying out a search,” said Alex Asimwe, managing director of The Daily Monitor, one of the country’s main daily newspapers.

Around 50 armed policemen took part in the search, he added.

“It is unacceptable that our business should be crippled on a dispute which should be settled in court,” he said.

The raids come after newspapers printed a leaked confidential memo by a senior general, David Sejusa Tinyefuza, alleging that President Yoweri Museveni was grooming his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba to succeed him and plotting to assassinate those opposed to the plan.

Several other generals – among them police chief Kale Kayihura, chief of defence Aronda Nyakirima and Museveni’s brother Salim Saleh – condemned Tinyefuza’s memo.

But Elly Tumwine, the most senior military figure in the country after Museveni himself, broke ranks by saying there should be no rush to condemn Tinyefuza and that he should be allowed to tell his side of the story. Tumwine was joined by Greg Mugisha-Muntu, another general and former army commander.

The radio stations KFM and Dembe FM, both owned like the Monitor by the Nation Media Group and located in the same building, were also caught up in the raid.

Both stations were taken off-air.

Police also raided the offices of The Red Pepper newspaper, which said “heavily armed” officers had told staff they “are not allowed to leave the premises and no one is allowed in”.

Police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba said that search warrants had been issued to recover “press releases” sent out by Tinyefuza.


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