Police are holding the directors of Red Pepper, a popular Ugandan tabloid. They are Arinaitwe Rugyendo, James Mujuni, Patrick Mugumya, Richard Tumusiime and the news editors, Francis Tumusiime and Richard Kintu.
The suspects spent the night at Nalufenya Police facility in Jinja district. They were picked up on Tuesday when police raided the Red Pepper publication head offices in Namanve Kampala. Red Pepper also produces vernacular tabloids namely Entasi and Kamunye.
The paper is accused of running a story that is prejudicial to national security contrary to section 37 of the penal code act. Trouble for the journalists started when they ran a story on November 20th, 2017 titled “M7 Plotting to overthrow Kagame-Rwanda”. Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima, says “The initial investigations are being carried out under S 37 of the penal code Act, which provides for the offense of the publication of information prejudicial to national security.”
Adding that, “However, this doesn’t preclude other offenses that may be disclosed in the course of the investigations.” He also explained that police had sealed off the premises of the newspaper since they are a scene of crime.
The East African Tribune also understands that during the raid police confiscated phones, laptops, desk computers, drivers and other computer accessories and put down the servers belonging to the publication.