District Security Committee Warns Radio Station Managers

2432 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Biryabarema said that the managers should be aware of what the group is going to talk about on the radio before they are allowed to speak.

Kabarole District Security Committee has warned manager of radio station there against hosting members of Twerwaneho, a human rights activists group. In a meeting with radio managers on Monday, the security committee chaired by, Elijah Biryabarema, the deputy RDC Kabarole, accused the managers for allowing the group to defame government officials while on their airwaves. Biryabarema said that the managers should be aware of what the group is going to talk about on the radio before they are allowed to speak. The meeting with the radio managers follows last month’s incident after members of the group who include Gerald Kankya, Prosper Businge, Gilbert Kayondo and Timothy Mashuhuko were accused for allegedly defaming the First lady and Minister for Karamonja Affairs, Janet Museveni.

After the talk shows on Hits and Better FM, the OC CID Fort Portal police station ordered managers to take the recordings to the police station for investigations. Police detectives accused the group of referring to Janet as a thief, who had embezzled funds meant for people in Northern Uganda. During the meeting on Monday that was attended by the district police commander and operatives from DIstrict Internal Security Offices, the managers were reprimanded for failing to submit the recordings of Twerwaneho talk shows, when police requests for them. Patrick Nyakahuma, the manager Better FM, refused to speak to Uganda Radio Network, when asked if they will comply with the directives.

William Magezi, the manager Hits FM said that he will have to first consult with the proprietor of the radio. In a telephone interview, Gerald Kankya, the coordinator Twereneho said that the actions by the district security committee are meant to intimidate the group. Kankya said they have information that the district security committee plans to block radio stations from hosting them. He however, said that they stand by what they utter on air and challenges the security agents to go ahead and block them from speaking on radio. Joseph Kihamba, the Kabalore District Police Commander who has clashed with members of the group on several occassions, denies that they are intimidating the activists. Kihamba says that they only summon the activists after receiving complaints from members of the public.

//Cue in: “we have never intimidated…
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Twerwaneho shot to prominence two years ago, when it started criticizing the management of the affairs to Tooro Kingdom. Two months ago, the King of Tooro, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru opened a case of threatening violence and spreading harmful propaganda against members of the group. King Oyo alleges that members of the group appeared on radio stations in Fort portal and incited his subjects against him.
Members of the group have been in and out of police cells and are viewed by the public in Fort Portal as being brave. The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, funds the activities of the group.


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.