Kanungu Radio Station Threatened by Politician

4375 Views Kanungu, Uganda
The LC3 chairperson of Kihihi Town Council in Kanungu district has threatened action against radio journalists for broadcasting stories of allegations that he is involved in fraud. The LC3 chairperson, Zepher Mugisha, stormed the offices of Kinkizi FM demanding that the station apologize for broadcasting news of a petition filed by members of his council. According to the news story, four councilors have asked the Kanungu Chief Administrative Officer to investigate Mugisha for embezzled 6.5 million shillings from the Kihihi Town Council coffers. The petition stems from a 2006 council resolution reducing the LC3 chairperson's monthly salary from 560,000 shillings to 300,000 shillings. The councilors claim that despite this resolution, Mugisha has been withdrawing 560,000 shillings every month. Eunice Kiconco, a news anchor at Kinkizi FM, says Zepher Mugisha stormed the radio shortly after its evening bulletin was read, calling the story false and malicious. He demanded that it be withdrawn immediately. Kiconco was rescued by a colleague, Faruk Isabirye, who called in the station management to intervene. The LC3 chairperson also accused Mugisha of blackmail. The Kinkizi FM station manager, Paul Teziggwa, says he sticks by the facts of the story. He says his station will not be intimidated to hide the truth. Teziggwa says he offered Mugisha an opportunity to give his side of the story, but he refused to do so. Zepher Mugisha, in an interview conducted after the incident, accused Kinkizi FM of being used by his enemies to tarnish his name. He said he would only give his side of the embezzlement story when the media stops its bias against him. Kinkizi FM is owned by the Security Minister, Amama Mbabazi. Mbabazi is also the Member of Parliament for Kinkizi West Constituency.