News / Africa

Ugandan Newspaper Reopens After Police Siege

Employees of the Daily Monitor newspaper with their mouths taped shut, sing slogans during a protest against the closure of their premises by the Uganda government, outside their offices in the capital Kampala, Uganda, May 20, 2013.
Employees of the Daily Monitor newspaper with their mouths taped shut, sing slogans during a protest against the closure of their premises by the Uganda government, outside their offices in the capital Kampala, Uganda, May 20, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
Reporters returned to work Thursday at Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper, 10 days after being shut down by authorities for publishing a classified document.  The tension between the media and the government centers around the president’s alleged succession plans.

On May 20, police cordoned off the Monitor’s offices in Kampala and declared the area a crime scene.  Two affiliated radio stations and another newspaper were also shut down.

Officials were searching for a letter allegedly penned by Ugandan General David Sejusa, suggesting President Yoweri Museveni was planning to install his son as his successor.

The letter called for investigations into plans to assassinate officials seen to oppose the president’s plans.

In a statement Thursday, Internal Affairs Minister Hilary Onek said the cordon was lifted after Monitor editors agreed not to publish stories that “can generate tension.”  He also said the newspaper’s management “acknowledged that there had been violations of their editorial policy.”

A senior reporter for the Monitor, Tabu Butigira, defended the newspaper’s reporting, telling VOA the government’s complaint was not about the veracity of the story, but about the content.  He said it is not the job of the media to guard information.

“Obviously the responsibility of keeping the government secrets lies with the government and not with the media, so we are not the custodians of the government’s secrets,” said Butigira.

On Tuesday, police fired tear gas and arrested journalists protesting outside the Monitor offices.

Late Thursday, the offices of the Red Pepper newspaper, which also published the controversial letter, were still closed. 

Butigira said the media shutdown is about more than just a search for evidence.

“I guess that the government wanted to send a message that it can deal and deal decisively with independent media.  I also think, of course, they aimed to get a knock-down effect on the business of the newspaper,” he said.

President Museveni, who has been in office since 1986, is due to step down in 2016.  He has made no announcements about his succession plans, but many have speculated that his son’s rapid rise through the military ranks could be an indication he is being groomed for the position.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid