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Ugandan Journalist Charged With Sedition, Granted Bail

A Ugandan radio talk show host was released on bail earlier today. Andrew Mwenda had denied sedition charges in a Kampala court. He said he was merely exercising his constitutional rights. He was arrested and jailed on Friday for lashing out at Ugandan authorities for letting the late Sudanese vice president Lieutenant General Dr. John Garang travel on what he said was a defective aircraft. Mr. Garang was killed on July 30th while flying back to southern Sudan aboard Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s personal helicopter.

The government has also suspended the license of KFM 93.3, the privately owned radio station that broadcasts Mr. Mwenda’s program. Several Ugandan media outlets have published or broadcast conspiracy theories relating to the crash, prompting threats by Mr. Museveni to shut them down.

Conrad Nkutu is the managing director of the Monitor group, which owns KFM and The Monitor newspaper. He talked with Voice of America reporter Shaka Ssali about Mr. Mwenda's release, and about new guidelines aimed at preventing conflict with authorities in the future