By Website writer
The Red Pepper newspaper and its sister publications are set to hit the streets again after President Museveni on Tuesday night ordered the police off media company’s premises.
We have received information that the president met the tabloid newspaper’s directors at State House, Entebbe and after warning them against reckless reporting in future.
“His Excellency the President pardoned the Company Directors and it’s Senior editors and promised to immediately order the police to vacate the Pepper head office at Namanve and return all confiscated electronic equipment to the company,” the paper’s Editorial Director, Arinaitwe Rugyendo, said adding that the paper will hit the street in the next few days.
The Red Pepper was closed down on November last year after it published a story alleging that President Museveni was training Rwanda rebels to topple the government of President Kagame.
A statement from the directors of the papers read thus:
The government of Uganda has agreed to allow The Red Pepper and its sister publications resume business.
After a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe, Tuesday night, His Excellency pardoned the Company Directors and its Senior Editors and promised to immediately order the police to vacate the Pepper head office at Namanve and return all confiscated electronic equipment to the company.
The meeting followed both formal and informal protracted negotiations with senior government officials and individuals which commenced when the police stormed the Red Pepper offices on November 21 last year and closed down the publication, sending its five directors and three senior editors to prison for a month.
The closure and subsequent prosecution of the paper’s senior officials, followed a publication the previous day of a lead story that the state said was prejudicial to national security and that of the region.
During the meeting at State House Entebbe, H.E the President warned the Directors and Editors to stop being reckless and become more professional in the course of their reporting.
He immediately ordered his staff to give each of the 8 officials copies of a revised edition of his autobiography, *Sowing the Mustard Seed* and a booklet containing a lecture he gave during the marking of Nelson Mandela’s Day at Makerere University last year, to sharpen their ideological awareness.
The Directors and Senior Editors pledged to the President and the nation, a more transformed and professional publication going forward.
As the formal process to reopen the newspaper that has been under police siege for two months gets underway, the ground is now set for The Red Pepper, Uganda’s most influential newspaper, to hit the streets very very soon.
Among those to congratulate them were Minister Frank Tumwebaze.