Two journalists of Digitalks charged for disturbing Museveni’s peace

Africa: Author Norman Tumuhimbise, 36 years old and a journalist ‘Farida Bikobere’, 27 years old, has been charged in the case of disturbing the peace and quietness of President Museveni and therefore remanded to Luzira Prisons until March 21, 2022.

The duo was among the nine journalists who belong to online media platforms, DigiTalks, who was also arrested by the military from their offices in Makindye last week.

However, seven members from that group came out on bail, Tumuhimbise and Bikobere were not, and on Wednesday, the two were arraigned before Grade One Magistrate Rhona Tukundane Makindye Chief Magistrates Court.

The law charged them with two offences, including cyberstalking of President Museveni disobedient to section 26 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011 and Offensive Communication, contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

The prosecution alleged that the duo and others still at large between January 2020 and March 9, 2022, while at Lukuli Makindye Division in Kampala, willfully, cruelly and repeatedly used electronic communication to wit Alternative DigiTalks Online Television and dispatched offensive information to with the “Politics of Komanyoko, Showing the Mastered Seed, Liars And Accomplices” directed against the person of the President of the Republic of Uganda.

The prosecution also claimed that the two, through their platform, planned to disturb the peace of the President of the Republic of Uganda.

Moreover, the seven members of the Digitalks were released from police custody, included; Arnold Mukose (programmes director), Faridah Bikobere, Jeremiah Mukiibi (producer), Tumusiime Kato (production), Roger Tulyahabwe (production), Teddy Teangle Nabukeera (presenter), Lillian Luwedde (presenter) and Jeje Jacob Wabyona (student intern).

Shortly after the court session, their lawyer Eron Kiiza said that the charges were “seditious”.

The rest of the two journalists faced torture like the other journalist MS with whom they were arrested on Thursday and released on police bond, said Kiiza.

Police arrested the journalist’s group when they recently announced on their social media handler that they would launch two books, Liars and Accomplices” and “The kumanyoko politics: Unsowing the Mustard Seed on March 30, 2022, at Imperial Royale.

Tumuhimbise now becomes the second author who came into police custody on the allegations of disturbing Museveni’s peace in the same year. Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, author of “The Greedy Barbarian,” was also charged earlier this year before being granted bail. He flew out of the country through a porous border shortly after.