Grapevine Journalists Dickson Mubiru, Sengooba Remanded To Luzira Prison, UJA Demands Immediate Release

Grapevine Journalists Dickson Mubiru, Sengooba Remanded To Luzira Prison, UJA Demands Immediate Release

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Journalists Dickson Mubiru and Arirabaki Sengooba of Grace Publications, which operates the online English site Grape Vine and the local newspaper Ono Bwiino, have been remanded to Luzira Prison on charges of publishing information without a valid broadcasting license.

The two have been held at Kampala Central Police Station following their arrest on Tuesday June 18, 2024 on charges of publishing information without a valid broadcasting license.

However, speaking to journalists on Thursday, indoja-u (online association) president Andrew Irumba revealed that he had spoken to Dickson and told him he paid for license and UCC told him they would send his license electronically, which has taken months.

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“I think as you have seen the charges, they’ve quoted two stories they published apparently without license, but is true that these are the only stories they’ve so far published? why these ones particularly? Truth is. it’s not about the license,it’s about annoying the the most powerful when you write about corruption in oil sector. They want to ‘eat’ in silence, media is making noise for them,” Irumba said.

The Dual’s Charge Sheet

In a statement released yesterday, Irumba urged the relevant organs to release the duo un conditionally or expedite their trial.

The journalists appeared before the Buganda Road Court magistrate Ronald Kayizzi on Thursday afternoon to take plea on the said charges against them and were later remanded to Luzira prisons.

According to the statement of offense 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 license 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 license from Uganda communications commission. The duo denied all charges and pleaded not guilty.

While appearing in Court, 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.

However, Magistrate Kayizzi remanded the duo to Luzira Prison until Friday, June 21, 2024, at 9:00 am, when their bail application will be considered.

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