Day eight: Monitor, Red Pepper premises still under police occupation

Police siege Monitor Publication Ltd office on Eight Street Namuwongo May 20, 2013. PHOTO STEPHEN WANDERA.

Police Monday continued their occupation of Monitor Publications premises eight days later even after court ordered the men in uniform to leave.

 The Red Pepper Publication is also still under police siege as managers there now turn to court to compel the armed police to vacate its Namanve offices.

 Mr Alex Asiimwe, the Monitor Publications Managing Director, said on Monday that discussions around the matter (closure) are now going on "at the highest level possible."

 “We are not yet opened,” Mr Asiimwe said; “but by close of business today or tomorrow we would have gotten an idea of when we will resume our normal operations.”  He said: “As per now I do not have clear timelines but engagements with authorities are progressing.”

On Monday last week, gun-wielding police officers surrounded the offices of Monitor Publications, stopping the operations of the newspaper.

 Instead of sticking to the search warrant, the detectives switched off the Monitor printing press, disabled the company’s internet servers and denied employees access to the premises.

They also shut down KFM and Dembe FM - both radios housed in the premises.

The raid on the Monitor Publications premises, including the closure of the two radio stations, originates from a story published by the Daily Monitor, concerning a letter written by Gen David Sejusa, the Coordinator of Intelligence Services, alleging that there was a plot to eliminate top government figures who are opposed to the "Muhoozi Project."

In Gen Sejusa's letter to the Director General of Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Col Ronnie Balya, it is alleged that those opposed to Brig. Muhoozi Keinerugaba, the head the Special Forces, taking over as President from his father, Mr Museveni, would be assassinated.