Kampala, 25th/May/2011; The police have raided and searched premises of Prime General Supply limited a company which offers printing services to Ggwanga news paper, barely hours after the newspaper premises were raided.
The Ntinda based company also prints for the Razor – a daily publication and The Observer- a bi-weekly news paper. Ntinda is a suburb of Kampala.
Ggwanga news paper premises were raided by police and searched, arresting four staff members, seizing a computer and four sets of documents including materials allegedly belonging to Activists for Change – a pressure group opposed to high fuel and commodity prices.
Two police salon cars and a patrol loaded with armed and anti riot police forced entry into Prime General Supply and searched the premises while another privately numbered vehicle was parked outside the gate. The exercise lasted for more than one and half hours.
The police came along with a certain document that it suspected was being printed from our place. They searched our printing press and computers but could not find any evidence.” Said the printing press manager Martin Onyabuko
“We believe that the security is now bent on harassing the media to cause fear which would in turn lead to self censorship. It begun when a Media Offences Department was established in 2008, and later decentralized from the headquarters to the local police posts. Such acts are targeting critical journalists and media houses. But we wish to encourage the media to stand firm and play its duties-especially holding public officers accountable to the tax payers and also urge the police to desist from clamping down on a free media.” Said the HRNJ-Uganda Board Chairman Robert Ssempala
Meanwhile, three Ggwanga news paper employees have been charged with unlawful publication and released on police bond. They include the papers Managing Director Kizito Sserumaga, news editor Alex Lubwama and the company administrator Patricia Serebe. The security guard Mr. Lukyamuzi Peter was set free.
The suspects are expected to report back to old Kampala police station on 30th/May/2011
For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Kivebulaya Road at Mengo Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Pre. School
P.O.BOX. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627