Red Pepper Scribe in Trouble Over Defamation

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In short
Amvesi who also doubles as the manager Nile Fm was picked up on Thursday and released on bond on the orders of Saidi Chepchulei Labu, the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department Koboko Central Police Station.

Andrew Cohen Amvesi, a scribe with the Red Pepper tabloid is in trouble for alleged defamation. Amvesi who also doubles as the manager Nile Fm was picked up on Thursday and released on bond on the orders of Saidi Chepchulei Labu, the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department Koboko Central Police Station. Trouble for the scribe stems from an article he authored in Red Pepper in December last year, indicating that Labu had been dragged to the Professional Standards Unit by his lover for sexual abuse, rape and physical torture.

Labu opened a case against the scribe at Koboko central police station vide file number CRB 31/1/2014. In his story, Amvesi quoted 24-year-old Florence Alioru, a resident of Koboko town council claiming that in June last year the CID officer invited her to his house and forced her into unprotected sex but later turned around and arrested her for allegedly interfering with his marriage. Amvesi told URN that he will seek redress from the police professional standards unit over the illegal arrest saying once a story appears in the papers it becomes the responsibility over the media house.

He said that he had already informed his bosses at the Red Pepper head office in Kampala and they have promised to contact the lawyers of the company to take up the matter. Arinaitwe Rugyendo, one of the directors of Red Pepper tabloid said they were aware about the arrest of the scribe. He says the top management will sit next week to chart way forward because his bond is still on up to February 19th. Members of West Nile Press Association have since condemned the manner, in which the scribe was arrested. Clement Aluma, the Chairperson West Nile Press Association, says if police officers don’t want such stories to be written about them they should refrain from bad practices.

Josephine Angucia, the police spokesperson for West Nile, says it was not in order for officers from Koboko district to arrest a suspect Arua without informing authorities on the ground.  Saidi Labu, the complainant says he will still pursue his case because the story damaged his reputation and denied all the allegations against him. This is not the first time Red Pepper reporters in West Nile have been arrested. Last year Ronald Afeku, one of the paper reporters in Arua was arrested after he allegedly received a bribe from an official from BAT Uganda to kill a story where farmers were involved in a fatal accident.

 

Tagged with: war liberia red pepper

About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.