Uganda: Minister Storms Radio Station, Orders Arrests

Regulation & Policy

Drama ensued on Saturday after the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru, reportedly stormed a community radio station in Soroti and allegedly ordered the arrest of talk show panelists, accusing them of defaming him.

Ecweru reportedly abruptly appeared in the Kyoga Veritas FM studios after Julius Ocen, the former Amuria LC5 chief and a panelist, accused the minister of using underhand methods to sack his wife from her job.

An audibly incensed Ecweru reportedly said: "Kyoga Veritas, what is wrong with you? Why host such crap to talk against me and the government? I am a national figure."

He allegedly added: "Ocen has been accusing me of trying to kill him and now trying to influence the sacking of his wife. Sincerely I am not of that class, who come to discuss petty issues on radio. I have bigger fora than this." Efforts by the programme moderator, Stanley Okello to calm him down, failed as Ecweru allegedly insisted that the panelists had a case to answer and that they report to the police.

But Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso, who was among the panelists, reportedly insisted no one was going to the police. "Nobody is going to go to police and the station did its part to invite you for this talk show but you chose not to come," Alaso is reported to have said.

Ocen, who is also UPC national mobiliser, allegedly said: "I am an adult who is not going to succumb to Ecweru's intimidation. He has no right whatsoever to order my arrest." Efforts to speak to all the politicians were futile as their known mobile phones were switched off.