INDOJA-U Condemns Targeted Arrests Of Journalists, Demands Immediate Release Of Grapevine’s Dickson Mubiru, Arirabaki Sengooba

INDOJA-U Condemns Targeted Arrests Of Journalists, Demands Immediate Release Of Grapevine’s Dickson Mubiru, Arirabaki Sengooba

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (INDOJA-U) has expressed serious concerns over the rising number of targeted arrests of journalists noting that these actions deliberate attempts to suppress press freedom.

The latest victims of this clampdown are Dickson Mubiru and Arirabaki Sengooba, both employees of Grace Publications Ltd, who were arrested on Tuesday and subsequently remanded to Luzira Prison on Thursday afternoon.

While as the the official reason cited for the arrests is operating without a valid license, INDOJA-U believes that the true motive behind the arrests lies in the journalists’ investigative reporting on corruption within government agencies.

Read INDOJA-U Full Statement Below.


”Whereas the issue being fronted as the cause for their arrest is illegal operation without license, two story publications have been quoted as having been run to the detriment of the affected in which one of them insinuates that that there’s corruption in some government Agencies. The charge sheet clearly quotes; “ inside story; how top legislators shared $5million vitol oil deal bribe” and “Lawyer Kalali, justice Nkonge clash over court case file.” reads part of the statement signed by Andrew Irumba Katusabe, the president of the association who also doubles as the CEO of this mighty website.

INDOJA-U further argues that instead of targeting journalists, the focus should be on addressing the corruption they expose, which undermines the country’s development and deprives citizens of better services.

In our opinion, emphasis should be put more on fighting the suspected corruption which has impoverished the country and denied citizens better services than arresting/intimidating the journalists whose only ‘crime’ is writing about the same”. the statement adds.

Further more, the association noted that it is suspicious that out of all the stories published by Grape Vine, only those highlighting corruption in the Vitol oil-SNOOC deal have resulted in legal action.

”The fact that out of all the stories on Grapevine about various issues in society in the same scoop of time, it’s only Vitol oil-SNOOC corruption allegations story being as quoted as the ‘climax’ of their writing is suspicious enough, in itself” the statement further states.

The association has also challenged the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to provide transparency regarding licensing, questioning the selective enforcement of regulations thus stating that ”If indeed it’s about license, we demand UCC to share the license number for CBS FM for the last at least 5yrs, or arrest the Managing Director”.

According to INDOJA-U, Journalists play a crucial role in informing and empowering society, and any actions that undermine their work threaten the entire social contract between the media and the public, therefore called for the unconditional release of Mubiru and Sengooba and urged UCC to collaborate with online media leaders rather than engaging in witch-hunts.

”We beseech and call on court to release the duo unconditionally. We also urge UCC to instead work with the online leadership harmoniously rather than witch-hunt. We also appeal to all security agencies in Uganda to respect the Rights and Freedoms of journalists in Uganda” the association noted. an accessible web community

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