BIG STORY: Police have summonsed two top managers of the Daily Monitor newspaper to record statements in light of a story published on Monday detailing new evidence on who could have shot suspected protesters on Kampala Road in November last year.
The protests broke out following the arrest of Opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, while on his campaign trail in Luuka District.
Summoned are Mr Tony Glencross, the managing director, Nation Media Group- Uganda and Mr Tabu Butagira, the managing editor, Nation Media Group- Uganda.
According to the May 31 police summonss, the duo is wanted for alleged publication of false news, libel and incitement to violence.
However, the offence of publication of false news was annulled from the law books.
“The Directorate of Criminal Investigations is carrying out investigations into alleged incitement to violence to the public,” the police summons signed off by Mr Paul Kato read in part.
The summonss further reads: “You are directed to appear before the commissioner, Electoral and Political Crimes department at Kibuli CID headquarters on June 2 (today) at 10.00 hours for interview and statement recording.”
Daily Monitor’s story followed an investigation by BBC Africa Eye programme that found new evidence that in November 2020, Ugandan security forces fired live ammunition indiscriminately on Kampala Road, killing and injuring ordinary citizens.
The BBC documentary shows a killing spree which seven people are shot and at least four of them fatally within the space of a minute or so.
Further, forensic analysis of 400 videos shows, among others, that the shooters spotted military and field police uniforms and were riding on the back of 999 police patrol car number 17, with registration number UP 5564.
Responding to the summons yesterday, Mr Glencross said: “I have received the summonss and we have responded. We will obviously comply, however, their notification is too short being less than 24 hours. I am also currently self-isolating in accordance with the Ministry of Health standard operating procedures because of Covid-19 exposure on May 25, and as soon as the 14 day period is over, I will report for the interview and statement recording.”
Likewise, Mr Daniel Kalinaki, the general manager-editorial, NMG-Uganda, said: “We, as usual, will cooperate with the police. However, I am sure most Ugandans want to know the armed men that shot and killed unarmed people last November.”
“Our earlier reporting and now this latest report shows that many were not involved in the protests. We need to know who their commanders were, the orders they had and what steps are being taken to hold them accountable and bring justice to the victims,” he added.
Mr Butagira’s lawyers of Nangwala, Rezida & Co. Advocates said their client is currently on a field assignment and that given the short notice, it is not possible that he will be able to appear in person for interview and statement recording today.
However, Mr Butagira said: “The brand of Daily Monitor’s journalism is that which seeks to unearth the truth and pursue that line more vigorously when there is a blindspot. One of the shining stars this government prides in is the restoration of human security. Therefore, a media house seeking accountability for civilians shot dead on Kampala streets should not be conflated as a crime in a civilised and democratic society. ”