Media Witch-hunt? Grapevine Journalists Dickson Mubiru, Sengooba Further Remanded

Media Witch-hunt? Grapevine Journalists Dickson Mubiru, Sengooba Further Remanded

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Buganda Road Court Principal Magistrate, Nankya Winnie Jakito, has Tuesday granted bail to journalists Dickson Mubiru and Arirabaki Sengooba after three weeks of detention in Luzira Prison on charges of publishing information without a valid broadcasting license.

Both journalists are employees of Grace Publications, which operate the online English site Grape Vine and the local street newspaper Ono Bwiino.

During their third court appearance this afternoon, the accused were granted bail, with a cash bail of UGX 500,000 and a non-cash bail of UGX 1,000,000 for their sureties.

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However, their release was short lived as they were sent to the coolers again pending another case at Makindye Chief Magistrate’s Court, where they are expected to apply for another bail to be determined tomorrow, Wednesday, July 10, 2024 before they can gain their partial freedom.

Last week, each journalist presented three sureties. Godfrey Kivumbi, a businessman in Kampala, along with businesswomen Namuyomba Joan and Nambuya Teddy, vouched for Mubiru while Juma Ali, Nankabirwa Norah, and Nanyanzi Samali stood as sureties for Sengooba, who is their younger brother.

How The Saga Began

The dual was arrested on June 18, 2024 after they allegedly published a story on Grape Vine without a valid broadcasting license from the Uganda Communications Commission.

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 accused have since denied all charges and pleaded not guilty and they are expected to re-appear in court on 2 August 2024.

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