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Journalists Dickson Mubiru & Alirabaki Sengooba Remanded to Luzira

Journalists, Dickson Mubiru & Alirabaki Sengooba appearing before the Buganda Road Court today.

Kampala, Uganda – Journalists Dickson Mubiru and Alirabaki Sengooba of the Grace Publications that runs an online English site the Grape Vine and a local newspaper Ono Bwiino have been remanded to Luzira prison on charges of publishing information without a valid broadcasting license.

The journalist’s jailing followed their production before the Buganda Road Court magistrate Ronald Kayizzi by the state on Thursday afternoon to take plea on the said charges against them.

According to the statement of offence by the state which was represented by state attorney Ivan Kyazze in Court, on 13th June 2024, journalists Mubiru, Sengooba and others still at large in Kampala published a story titled “inside story; how top legislators shared $5million vitol oil deal bribe” in grape vine online media without a valid broadcasting licence from uganda communications Commission.

Prosecution also alleges that on the 15th day of May 2024, within Kampala district published a story titled “Lawyer Kalali, justice Nkonge clash over court case file.” in grape vine media without a valid broadcasting licence from Uganda communications commission.

However, the accused journalists denied and pleaded not guilty to all the said charges that are levelled against them on their maiden appearance before.

The accused’s lawyer Nasser Kibazo asked Court to consider the bail application attempt for them based on a temporary adjournment of the session to enable them prepare all the necessary documents for bail.

It is on this note that the trial magistrate Kayizzi remanded the journalists to Luzira prison until when report back to Court on Friday 21 st June 2024 at 9: 00 am to make an attempt for consideration of their bail application.

In what looked to be very surprising to the journalists who attended the court session is seeing the ‘human rights’ lawyer Steven Kalali taking to the witness stand against the 2 accused journalists.

Journalists Flood Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) in Demand for UnConditional Release of their Colleagues.

Earlier in the day, journalists who were led by the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) Secretary General Emmanuel Kirunda camped at the CPS to heighten the efforts geared to ensuring unconditional release of a pair of the detainees since they had been detained beyond the 48 hours contrary to the constitution since Tuesday 18 th June.

It later emerged from the highly placed sources in security and the judiciary that despite the above, the dual would not be released on Police bond but would instead be presented to Court since there were some two high ranked judicial officers that were much interested into the matter, hence moved to Buganda Road Court.

Kirunda however, expressed concern over the narrowing media space which has adverse implications to the enjoyment of independent press freedom in Uganda. He urged journalists to always stand together in the fight for their freedom.

“Every valuable thing is fought for, so journalists must bear that in their mind” Kirunda emphasized.

The Grace Publication journalist’s apprehension and detention, brings to 6 the number of the journalists in the space of only 4 months since February 2024 to this date. These include among others, Moses Lemisa with Vision Group and Julius Tukacungurwa-Umoja Standards.

Derrick Kanalo
the authorDerrick Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
Am a professionally trained and well skilled media personality. Accuracy is part of my top priority as a journalist.