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City Murder: Red Pepper Publications put on notice over story

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Hello!, a publication of Red Pepper Publications, has come under fire from the Media Council, the body charged with regulating media practice in Uganda, following a story it published titled: ‘Munyakole tycoon shoots Acholi guy dead to impress babe@Game Mall’.

In a terse communication to the Pepper Publications Limited Chief Executive Officer referenced: MC/PRT/16/005 November 14, 2016, signed off by the Media Council Chairman Paul Ekochu, and addressed to the Minister for ICT and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze; the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mike Chibita, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Information, Communication and Technology; and the Commissioner for Media Crimes in the Uganda Polce Force, Mr Ekochu imputes the headline and story are contrary to the law, particularly the Press and Journalists Act.

‘This is in reference to your above captioned article published in your Hello Newspaper of Monday 14th November 2016 Vol. 5 No. 018.

The article, in particular the headline is manifestly sectarian contrary to the provisions of Section 41 of the Penal Code Act Cap. 120, and blatantly misleading as to suggest that a crime has been committed on the basis of ethnicity. The manner of reporting is grossly irresponsible,’ Mr Ekochu wrote.

He also instructed Hello! To forthwith, stop reporting about the incident in which a one Mathew Kanyamunyu allegedly shot and killed Kenneth Akena Watmon, after the latter knocked Mr Kanyamunyu’s car.

‘Pursuant to powers vested in the Council under Section 9 of the Press and Journalists Act Cap. 105 you are hereby directed to stop and desist from reporting the said subject crime, or any other, in the impugned manner and/or directing the reporting of the crime to an ethnic context that is likely to offend the provisions of Section 41 of the Penal Code Act abovementioned. Should you opt to continue in the same manner of reporting further action shall be taken to against you accordingly’ he added.

Mr Ekochu also intimated that Hello! was not registered. ‘You are also hereby put on notice the you have not registered the particulars of Hello Newspaper as required under Section 5 of the Press and Journalists Act, which is an offence under the law,’ he wrote.

 

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