Lawyer and former NTV Uganda Life Stories presenter, Justine Nameere has said the country should rise up against local tabloid, Red pepper, which she says has through its publication made false accusations against men of God.
Ms Justine adds that Red pepper has “destroyed people’s careers and relationships, defamed people, shattered dreams, undressed mothers, disabled fathers, crushed role models and belittled Kings and Queen – you have indeed made money out of sowing in the devil’s gardens,”
Her query against the publication – already drawing mixed reactions from her fans – was made public on Tuesday through her Facebook page following the recent raid and arrest of eight Red Pepper journalists at their offices, as revealed by Kampala Metropolitan police commander, Frank Mwesigwa on 21 November.
The arrested, editors and top administrators include Richard Tusiime, Johnson Musinguzi, Patrick Mugumya, and Arinatiwe Rugyendo. Others are Richard Kintu, Ben Byarabaha, Francis Tumusiime and James Mujuni.
They were among other offences accused of having published and distributed textual material, “whose story lines injured the reputations of President Museveni, his brother Gen Salim Saleh and security minister Lt.Gen Henery Tumukunde, which publication allegedly subjected the three people to hatred, contempt and ridicule.”
The journalists where on 27 Novemeber denied bail and remanded to Luzira Prison from Nalufenya.
Justine Namere said she is not surprise that many Ugandans are cerebrating Red Pepper’s “debacle.”
“If there’s a group of people that has caused pain and suffering to this country, it is that group of goons called Red Pepper owners that the country is now taking a break from as they are kept away in Nalufenya- Redpepper no one will advocate for you; you cannot conveniently remember to pull the ” fraternity” card now – Even if you get out of the physical prison, you have tested social validation where Ugandans have showed you hate, activists are quiet and ordinary,” she said.
“We should petition the Speaker of Parliament to caution Government on why they have been looking on as Red Pepper damages society to the point of forging very serious allegations that could compromise national security and the economy; and to also denounce them because they have been abusing human rights claiming to be so connected in the powers that be,” she said.
“Fellow Ugandans, human rights activists, Lawyers, Parents, Leaders let’s rise up against the national bullies called Red Pepper before our younger generations and our children suffer as well. Journalism fraternity get up and denounce these black mailers, crooks and liars, promote professional journalism in Uganda! I hope no sponsor or brand ever associates with you bullies,” she stated.
The Uganda Online Media Publishers Association (OMPA) in solidarity issued a statement four (4) days ago condemning the siege and brutality on journalists, they proposed a ban on coverage of all police activities and events for a period of 2 months
The OMPA President Giles Muhame, asked “other media houses to join this ban as we fight for and defend our right to freedom of expression and the safety of all journalists in Uganda; an attack on one, is an attack on all of us.”