Fort Portal Radio Stations Under Investigation for Defaming First Lady

6044 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
In a letter written by Steven Mugarura, the officer in-charge Criminal Investigations Department Fort Portal police station, Better FM and Hits FM, all located in Fort Portal town, were ordered to take the recordings to the police station for investigations.

Detectives in Fort Portal have demanded for audio recordings from two radio stations after they were accused of allegedly defaming the First Lady Janet Museveni.

In a letter written by Steven Mugarura, the officer in-charge Criminal Investigations Department Fort Portal police station, Better FM and Hits FM, all located in Fort Portal town, were ordered to take the recordings to the police station for investigations.

It’s alleged that while appearing on talk shows at the two radio stations, members of Twerwaneho, a human rights activists group, uttered defamatory statements against Mrs Museveni, who is also Member of Parliament for Ruhaama County and minister for Karamoja Affairs. The group include Gerald Kankya, Prosper Businge, Gilbert Kayondo and Timothy Mashuhuko. The same group is at the centre of a case of threatening violence reported at Fort Portal Police Station by Tooro King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru in October this year. They reportedly abused the King and the Queen Mother Best Kemigisa.

When asked what defamatory statements were uttered on the radio, Mugarura told Uganda Radio Network that they referred to Janet, as a thief, who had embezzled funds meant for people of Northern Uganda.

Mugarura also said that while on the talk shows, the panelists said that police in Fort Portal should have arrested the First Lady and not allowed her to visit the district. They also said that her visit was an embarrassment to the people of Tooro.

Last month, Janet Museveni was in Kabarole for three days at the invitation of Victoria Rusoke, the Woman MP Kabarole district. During her visit, Mrs Museveni visited Tooro Babies Home and launched the Kabarole Women Revolutionary Movement.

According to Mugarura, the same panelists uttered the same statements three days later while appearing g on a talk show at Better FM.

In a telephone interview, Patrick Nyakahuma, the manager Better FM said that they had given the recordings to the police.

However, Uganda Radio Network has learnt from the police that the management of Hits FM has refused to comply with the police’s directives.

Willy Magezi, the manager Hits FM refused to comment on whether the recordings will be given to the police.

After police demanded for the recordings, radio station managers were on Saturday summoned by Abdul Nimuhimbwa, the Resident District Commissioner and Richard Rwabuhinga, the district local council chairperson and were warned against employing staff who insult government officials.

Janet Museveni was mentioned in the mismanagement of over 50 billion shillings by the Office of the Prime Minister. She reportedly made eight trips abroad, spending half a billion shillings, part of 50 billion meant for Northern Uganda rehabilitation under the Peace Recovery and Development Plan.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.