Masindi, 26th/Sept/2011; Radio Kitara talk-show host Samuel Kajumba is under harassment by security officials in Masindi District over a talk show which they claim incited sections of the public.
Kajumba a.k.a Lucky Sam hosts a Sunday political talk-show ‘Kikukwasireho’ meaning ‘What Concerns You” in English aired from Mid-day to 3pm. The show all political related issues in a local perspective.
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has learnt that on September 18th, Kajuma hosted a show which discussed the manner under which the army arbitrarily arrested one Roger Musinguzi, a proprietor of a bar in Masindi town. Musinguzi was allegedly accused of deserting the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF).
Since then Kajumba has been undergoing intimidation and receiving orders from district security committee to make an apology.
Kajumba told HRNJ-Uganda that during the show callers and himself condemned the brutal arrest of Musinguzi and that he wondered why several army deserters including those who are in Rwanda were not being arrested the same way they have done to Musinguzi
He added that he was summoned by the Masindi District Security Committee headed by Resident District Commissioner Rtd. David Matovu on Wednesday the 21st/Sept/2011 explain the statements he made during the show.
RDC Matovu accused Kajumba for misleading the public and causing unnecessary confusion to discredit the otherwise good image of security.
“I was intimidated particularly by Masindi Resident District Commissioner Rtd. Maj. Matovu and threatened me to be taken to military court. He forced me to make both a verbal and written apologies to him (RDC) which haven’t written to date” said Kajumba.
Kajumba said due to fear of being arrested and taken to military court, he is considering apologizing.
Kajumba is the second journalist to be harassed by the same Maj. Matovu after the Red Pepper reporter Tony Kizito who was arbitrarily arrested and detained in Mukono police station before RDC Matovu was transferred to Masindi district.
When HRNJ-Uganda contacted the Director of Kitara FM Abdu Alifaijo Kiirya who also attended the meeting, he declined to comment on the treatment of the presenter
“It’s a shame that such a high ranking public officer can turn his office into a judicial body to intimidate a journalist. He must understand that offending sections of the public must be justified and cannot stand alone without a complainant. The RDC should not be the complainant and the judge” said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala
He added that if RDC Matovu was offended by the talk-show, he should have used lawful means to complaint against the journalist.
HRNJ-Uganda stresses the need for the government to organise induction courses for its RDCs in order to internalize their constitutional mandate of monitoring government programmes as per article 203 (2) of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
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