Fort Portal Radio Panelists Snub Police Summons

2232 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Five radio talk show panelists in Fort Portal have snubbed police summons to record statements on allegations of defaming First Lady Janet Museveni.

Five radio talk show panelists in Fort Portal have snubbed police summons to record statements on allegations of defaming First Lady Janet Museveni.

The five, who appear for radio programmes on Hits FM and Better FM radio stations in Fort Portal, include Prosper Businge, Willard Gonza, Francis Irumba, Gilbert Kayondo and Juma Rwabwogo. They were summoned to appear at Fort Portal police on Friday morning together with three members of Twerwaneho Listeners Club who were also summoned. The three include Gerald Kankya, Simon Amanyire and Joseph Mugisa.

According to the summons dated January 17 2013 and signed by Lawrence Okello, the acting Kabarole Criminal Investigations Officer, the panelists were supposed to report at Fort Portal police station at 11am on Friday and record statements in relation to defamatory statements they allegedly uttered while on several talk shows on Hits and Better FM.  

Police detectives, however waited for the panelists in vain.

Joseph Kaahwa, the lawyer of the panelists told Uganda Radio Network that his clients will not appear at the police station because they weren’t prepared.  Kaahwa also says that he is still studying the contents of the summons.

Prosper Businge, one of the panelists says that he will appear at the police station next week. Businge says that the detectives were planning to arrest them and have them spend the weekend in police cells.

He also says that he will first study the summons, since he received them last evening.

Last month, detectives in Fort Portal demanded for audio recordings from Hits and Better FM, after they were accused of allegedly defaming the First Lady Janet Museveni, who is also Minister for Karamoja.

The detectives allege that last year while appearing on talk shows at the two radio stations, the panelists uttered defamatory statements against the first lady, referring to her as a thief, who had embezzled funds meant for people of Northern Uganda.

The summons also come after the Uganda Communications Commission suspended two popular political talk shows on Hits FM, Orukurato and Ekitangaazo, which have been airing on Hits FM since February last year. The shows have been focusing on accountability of public funds and service delivery.


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.