KAMPALA – The directors and editors of one of Uganda’s most popular tabloid newspapers have been detained over what the authorities described as fake news story about a political plot implicating the president.
The offices of the privately owned English language Red Pepper, as well as its vernacular sister publications, were raided and eight of their employees were arrested. The story in question was published on Monday and it stated that President Yuweri Museveni was plotting to overthrow his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame.
The spokesperson of the police, Emilliam Kayima said, beside the story being false, it also posed a threat to regional security.
“The Ugandan police force initiated investigations into the serious statements and insinuations in that story, that have grave implications on national and regional security and stability,” added Kayima.
The article was carried by Red Pepper and other publications that are owned by the publisher, and claimed a Ugandan plot to destabilise neighbouring Rwanda.
Dickens Byamukana, the newspaper’s lawyer, said the eight directors and editors are being detained at Nalufenya prison outside the capital Kampala.
“Their cell-phones, laptops were confiscated, plus other official and private equipment,” said Byamukama. He added that the Red Pepper’s premises have been cordoned off. The newspaper did not appear on the news stands on Wednesday.