KAMPALA–The five directors and three editors of the Red Pepper Publication Ltd have this afternoon appeared before the Buganda Road Magistrate Court and have been charged with seven counts – in relation to publication of information prejudicial to national security; criminal libel; and offensive communication.
The top bosses of the local tabloid have been remanded to Luzira prison until Tuesday, December 7, when court is expected to hear their bail application.
Since last Tuesday, the directors of the local tabloid and the editors have been detained at Nalufenya Police station, after Police cordoned off their head offices as crime of scene at Namanve, Mukono Municipality.
Those detained are Richard Tusiime, the Managing Director, Rugyendo Arinaitwe, the Editorial Director, Francis Tumusiime, the general manager, Johnson Musinguzi, the Chief Finance Officer and Patrick Mugumya, the Chief Operations officer and James Mujuni, the Chief Commercial Officer.
The state accuses them of publishing article on November 20 2017, pointing at President Yoweri Museveni, his brother Gen. Salim Saleh and security minister Lt. Gen. Tumukunde for plotting to throw the government of President Kagame. This according to charge sheet, the information injured the reputation of the President and Gen. Saleh.
The suspect are still in court, hearing the bail application. Lawyers representing them include MaxMutabingwa, Geofrey Kandeeba and Dennis Nyombi.
Their sureties are Richard Muhangi, Edwin Muzahura, Obed Akiriho, AlexB.Atuhaire and Giles Muhame, among others.
Since last week , RedPepper and other products published by the same media house have not on the market today.
The radio station, Juice FM and the online publication were also shut down.
“The RedPepper offices are scene of crime and it has been cordoned off, to facilitate these investigations and remain as long as it’s necessary,” said Emilian Kayima, the Police spokesperson.
Many journalists and media houses are living in fear, since CMI started to arrest some top Police officials.
Some have been summoned to appear before CID Police headquarters, Kibuli for interrogations on issues related to infringing the peace of IGP Gen Kale Kayihura.