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King Oyo intervenes in press intimidation claims

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Tooro King Oyo (L) and the head of royal clan, Babiito, Mr Charles Kamurasi, during a meeting with journalists and media houses proprietors in Fort Portal last week. Photo by Ruth Katusabe  

By RUTH KATUSABE & FELIX BASIIME

Posted  Wednesday, August 6  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Concern. The Tooro King said it was sad that journalists were being intimidated because of their views on the kingdom.

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KABAROLE.
Tooro King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru has met broadcasters and journalists over allegations that they are being intimidated not to air programmes or host people demanding for the return of the kingdom’s assets.

The meeting was prompted by a call by the kingdom deputy minister for information, Mr Vincent Mugume, asking King Oyo and other kingdom officials to intervene in the matter.

While addressing the meeting, King Oyo said it was sad that journalists were being intimidated and dismissed because of their views on the kingdom.
Mr Mugume, who chaired the meeting said several radio owners and presenters in Fort Portal have been intimidated by government officials and asked not host proponents of Ebyaitu [Tooro Kingdom assets].

This, Mr Mugume said, seeks to dampen pressure that the kingdom has put on government to return the kingdoms assets confiscated after traditional institutions were abolished in 1967.

In May a group of youth from Tooro Kingdom walked from Fort Portal to Parliament in Kampala as they sought to petition Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and ask government to return the kingdom’s assets.
The meeting attended by the king, other kingdom officials and broadcasters also heard that several some radio presenters had been banned from hosting or airing anything related to the kingdom programme with others being sacked.

The Gold FM executive director, Mr Nesta Larry, said he had received a number of threats from government officials and security agents but was ready to dialogue with government under the guidance of the kingdom.

When contacted, Kabarole RDC Steven Asiimwe said: “It is true some radios were warned for running anti-government sentiments and we met their managers over this.” He said the radios they warned include Better FM and Hits FM.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com