Kampala

A picture of the cover of the confiscated magazine which was at Central Police Station yesterday. Photo by ANDREW BAGALA.

The owner and the editor of Summit Business Review magazine have been arrested and detained by the police over the publication of a cartoon of President Museveni holding a knife.

Dr Samuel Ssejaaka, the magazine director, and the editor, Mr Mustapha Mugisha, were detained at the Central Police Station in Kampala for allegedly publishing a caricature of the President that embarrasses him on the magazine’s cover page in October, 2010 issue and on billboards.

City Advocate James Nangwala, who is representing the duo, said yesterday the police are holding his clients without any charge or telling them the offences as required by law. “The detectives have refused to tell us on what charges they are holding my clients. But one document I have seen gives orders to the police to arrest and detain my clients,” Mr Nangwala said at CPS.

Dr Ssejaaka is a deputy principal at Makerere University Business School. The said cartoon allegedly depicts President Museveni holding a knife as he blows out a candle standing on a cake with words “48th Independence”. Mr Nangwala said Dr Ssejaaka has declined to record a statement with the police in absence of his lawyers which seemed to have annoyed the officers. “This is a limited company. So you can’t arrest the owner on such a case. In fact, the case doesn’t warrant such action,” he said. The suspects were released on police bond last evening but were told to report back today.

When Daily Monitor contacted Kampala Metropolitan spokesman Ibin Ssenkumbi to establish the offence on which they are holding the suspects, he said: “I can’t tell now because the detectives are still talking to the suspects.”

Detectives handling the case moved back and forth between the Metropolitan Criminal Investigations Directorate and the Resident State Attorney offices to consult on the offences that should be preferred against the two suspects.

No more standing
Security agents also pulled down all the billboards which have the said cartoon. Detectives have also been looking for more than five people whom they claim worked on the design and hanging of the billboards.

It has become common for police to summon journalists, their managers and opposition politicians whenever they write critical stories about President Museveni. Several Monitor journalists are battling the State in courts of law over stories about President Museveni.