Monitor Journalists Appear in court

2101 Views Kampala, Uganda
Two journalists have appeared in court over a story that was published in Sunday Monitor, last year. Henry Ocheing, the Editor of Sunday Monitor and Angelo Izama appeared today before Makindye Grade one magistrate, Immaculate Busingye. They were charged with criminal libel and released on bail. Prosecution told court that the two defamed president Yoweri Museveni, when they authored an article titled "Preparing for the 2011 elections by arming troops", which ran in Sunday Monitor on December 20, 2009. The article highlighted concerns of stakeholders and diplomats in Kampala about the ruling NRM party's decision to give military drills to its 'election scouts'. Both Ochieng and Izama pleaded not guilty to the crime and applied for bail. Busingye granted the accused bail on a cash bond of 100,000 shillings, each. Each of their sureties were bonded by court for shillings 500,000, not in cash. David Ouma Balikoowa, Nicholas Ssengooba, Charles Mwanguhya and Hussein Kashiling stood surety for the journalists. Busingye ordered the accused to return to court on February 26, when their case will come up for mention. This is the second time Ochieng is being charged with publishing articles which flout the law, within a space of less than six months. In august last year Ochieng was dragged to the magistrate's with Daniel Kalinaki, the Daily Monitor Managing Editor and with forgery. The two were accused of forging President Yoweri Museveni's letter on the controversial ring fencing of electoral offices in Kabale.