National

Journalists arrested over extortion

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By John Njoroge

Posted  Tuesday, November 9  2010 at  00:00
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Kampala

Police are holding three suspects, including a Daily Monitor journalist, in connection with alleged attempts to extort Shs50 million from Works Permanent Secretary Charles Muganzi.

The suspects, who also include a city lawyer were arrested on Friday at Fairway Hotel in Kampala where they had allegedly gone to receive the money from Mr Muganzi.

Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson Ibin Senkumbi told journalists yesterday that the lawyer had allegedly impersonated an officer from the office of the IGG while the other journalist said he worked for New Vision.
The newspaper has run his articles in the past but New Vision said yesterday the journalist was not their employee.

Daily Monitor Managing Editor Daniel Kalinaki said the newspaper had received news of journalist’s arrest with “shock and disappointment”. He said: “We shall cooperate fully with the authorities in their investigation. If any evidence of impropriety is found on the part of any of our journalists, then we shall act swiftly and decisively. We do not condone such acts and have made this position publicly clear.”

Together with the two journalists, the lawyer reportedly contacted Mr Muganzi through his wife, telling him that they had incriminating information on him in relation to Chogm. “They asked for Shs50 million so that the ‘story’ would not get published in the two dailies,” Mr Senkumbi said.

Mr Muganzi is said to have called the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen Kale Kayihura, who deployed intelligence operatives to arrest the suspect. The trio is to be presented in court today and is likely to be charged with extortion. Names of suspects withheld for legal reasons.