By Watchdog reporter
There is anger across the country after a businessman Matthew Kanyamunyu shot dead another man for scratching his car.
A lot of conspiracy theories are flying online but the FrontPage headline on Hello entertainment tabloid owned by the Red Pepper Publications, has made authorities jump out of their slumber to prevent the debate from tearing the country alongside tribal lines.
The Uganda Media Council chairman Paulo Ekochu directed Pepper Publications to stop reporting crime in ethnic context.
Ekochu also warned Red Pepper that Hello is unregistered and therefore they could be penalised for it.
“You are also hereby put on notice the you have not registered the particulars of Hello Newspaper as required under Section 5 of the Press and Journalists Act, which is an offence under the law.”
Kenneth Akena, 33, was shot on weekend but succumbed to the wounds. He died after revealing he had been shot by Kanyamunyu, the very person who took him to hospital.
On Monday morning, Hello newspaper produced its lead story as: MUNYANKORE TYCOON SHOOTS ACHOLI GUY DEAD TO IMPRESS BABE @ GAME MALL.
The headline and story has made the Media Council, the overseeing body for print media come out with a strong warning to Red Pepper managers and editors. The Media Council rarely speaks out on excesses of the media unless it is really very important. We mean, very important.
Below is the letter:
November 14, 2016
The Chief Executive Officer,
Pepper Publications Limited
Dear Sir / Madam,
RE: ARTICLE TITLED “MUNYANKORE TYCOON SHOOTS ACHOLI GUY DEAD TO IMPRESS BABE @ GAME MALL”
This is in reference to your above captioned article published in your Hello Newspaper of Monday 14th November 2016 Vol. 5 No. 018.
The article, in particular the headline is manifestly sectarian contrary to the provisions of Section 41 of the Penal Code Act Cap. 120 and blatantly misleading as to suggest that a crime has been committed on the basis of ethnicity. The manner of reporting is grossly irresponsible.
Pursuant to powers vested in the Council under Section 9 of the Press and Journalists Act Cap. 105 you are hereby directed to stop and desist from reporting the said subject crime, or any other, in the impugned manner and/or directing the reporting of the crime to an ethnic context that is likely to offend the provisions of Section 41 of the Penal Code Act abovementioned.
Should you opt to continue in the same manner of reporting further action shall be taken to against you accordingly.
You are also hereby put on notice the you have not registered the particulars of Hello Newspaper as required under Section 5 of the Press and Journalists Act, which is an offence under the law.
For: MEDIA COUNCIL OF UGANDA
c.c. Hon. Frank Tumwebaze,
Minister for Information, Communication Technology and National Guidance
c.c. Hon. Mr. Justice Mike Chibita
Director of Public Prosecutions
c.c. The Chairperson,
Parliamentary Committee on Information, Communication and Technology
c.c. The Commissioner Media Crimes
Uganda Police Force.