The offices of two newspapers have been raided by Ugandan police, as a result of reports that President Museveni is preparing his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to succeed him after he steps down from office in 2016.
Although the government denies all these allegations, last week two independent Ugandan newspapers, the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper published a press release from General David Sejusa where he was seeking to investigate allegations of a plot to assassinate people speaking out against the "family project of holding onto power in perpetuity." As a result of these reports, local police raided the Daily Monitor and the Red Pepper on Monday.
According to coverage in the Daily Monitor, the police searched the offices for any trace of Sejusa's letter and then shut down the printing press and the FM sister radio stations. The deputy CID Director Godfrey Musana, in charge of the police investigation, claimed that the no further operations at Daily Monitor were permitted as the premises was declared a "scene of crime."
Red Pepper recently released a statement explaining the events that took place yesterday in their office, and that even though they complied with the courts request of handing over the press release from General Sejusa, the police still remain in their premises and refuse to let the employees return to work. CEO Richard Tuiisme of the Red Pepper writes, "We need to remind all Ugandans and the international community that this is not the first time a raid of this nature is happening to Red Pepper. In 2008, men with guns, dressed in military uniform and riding government pick up trucks bombed this same printing press and burnt it down."
The Daily Monitor was also shut down for two weeks in 2002 for publishing a story related to rebels fighting against the government. Obviously, this is not the first time that the government has interfered with the freedom of the press despite it being outlined as a clear right in the Constitution of Uganda.
These police raids have sparked protests by Daily Monitor employees and have ignited strong reactions amongst the general public, who are waiting to see what the government's next move will be.