The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters at Kibuli, Kampala have released on Police bond an online journalist over a story he published on Dott Services’ inability to construct roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Magara Darious the Managing Editor of EastAfricanwatch. net spent the whole day Tuesday at Kibuli where had been to record statement on charges of “Criminal Libel”.
He was later in the evening released but was asked to report again Wednesday and after making another statement was given bond until Thursday next week.
On Tuesday he reported at the CID offices at 9am and was held up to close to 7 PM and was attended to by Mugabe Peter who recorded his statement but after hours of waiting.
The case arose from a November 4, 2020 report he published on the Eastafricanwatch.net website from a Parliamentary Committee report and a subsequent follow up story.
In November Members of Parliament also protested Dott Services contract award to construct roads in DRC saying it lacks capacity.
Journalists in print and electronic media including online media published the reports.
However CID office chose to summon the EastAfricanwatch.net and the Drone Media Editors to record statements on charges of Criminal Libel.
Two weeks ago the Drone Media Editor Mr. Pidson Kareire recorded statements at CID headquarters in Kibuli on charges of Criminal Libel and was detained for nine hours.
The police reportedly confiscated his smart phone and they are still holding the phone as investigations continue.
“I am steadfast and will continue to execute my work without fear or favour. I will always defend my work and perform my duties professionally for the public good as a public watch dog” Magara added.
The Eastafricanwatch.net Managing Editor also explained that no police officer had asked him to pull down any of his published stories of Dott services Ltd.
“I want to thank colleagues that mounted pressure on Police forcing them to release me. A police officer said please leave now your colleagues are at the gate waiting for you and others have been calling demanding for your release” Magara said.
“We are still focused and committed and shall always come out stronger”. He added.
Magara said during the interrogation by Police he was asked whether Ben Byarabaha the former Editor of Redpaper and Allan Ssempebwa the PRO UNRA were sources for his story.
Meanwhile the Uganda Journalists Union (UJU) President Ms Lucy Anyango Ekadu condemned continued harassment of the two journalists by police.
She said the Police should produce the journalists in courts of law if they have any case to answer.
The journalists have officially complained to Police Spokesperson Afande Fred Enanga over continue harassment by the police.