Whatever we are doing is within the law. CID needs the letter published by the Daily Monitor, and other documents published by the Red Pepper purportedly originating from Gen Sejusa to assist in the investigation of possible criminality committed. CID sought cooperation from the management of the Daily Monitor and they refused to cooperate to handover the letter, and disclose their sources invoking protection from s.38 of the Press and Journalist Act.
Faced with this, the CID sought and got a court order to compel them to do so, as the same s.38 states that a journalist can be compelled to do so by a court order, among others.
The management of the Daily Monitor Publications have to date defied the court order. In fact, it is in anticipation of this that CID sought and got search warrants from court for both media houses. This is routine in investigations. It is consistent with any standards of investigative practice in any democracy. Moreover, these are not the first searches to be conducted by the Police in Uganda, or anywhere else in the whole.
It is not a violation of the lead judgment of the late Justice Mulenga in the Supreme Court case of Charles Onyango Obbo & another vs Attorney General SCC No 2 of 2002. The issues that were addressed were different. The Court did not rule that searching media houses violates rights and freedoms. They outlawed sections of the Penal Code Act providing for the offense of sedition which to their judgment were too widely worded that they could be used to unjustifiably violate freedoms and rights. The court did not declare that media rights and freedoms are absolute. Read the judgment well.
Let me remind you of Article 43(1) of the Constitution which states “In the enjoyment of the rights prescribed in this chapter, no person shall prejudice the fundamental or other human rights and freedoms of others or the public interest”. In fact, in his lead judgment, Justice Mulenga, my uncle as pointed out highlighted this constitutional position, saying there must be balance between exercising rights and freedoms and what he called the common interest.
Therefore, there is no inconsistency between what Justice Mulengs ruled and what the Police is doing under the leadership of his nephew. Ndugu, I have nothing to be ashamed of. Just serving my country diligently, and lawfully.
GEN KALE KAYIHURA
UAH MEMBER IN KAMPALA