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Four Radio Simba employees arrested for promoting sectarianism

Bizonto comedy group. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Four Radio Simba employees have been arrested. Known for their stage name Bizonto, the four were picked up from the Radio Simba offices in Bukoto early today on charges of sectarianism.

They include Julius Sserwanja also known as Kidomoole, Mbabaali Maliseeri (Uncle Luyuguumo) Sssaabakaaki Peter (Omuzinyuuzi) and Gold Ki Matono, also known as Opeto. Three of them are part of the station’s morning show, Binsanga Wano, which is packaged with satirical skits mainly about current affairs of the country. One of them, Sssaabakaaki Peter Kajabuzi (Omuzinyuuzi), works with the evening show-Mukulikeeyo.

However, the skit that led to their arrest is not part of the broadcast at Radio Simba, but one of the recorded comedy skits which is shared on various platforms including YouTube and Facebook. The comedians mockingly prayed for Uganda’s top leaders in a skit titled Who are our Leaders? The seven-minute skit which was uploaded on July 15, 2020, has attracted more than 11,000 views on YouTube alone.

Also arrested is , is Kamya Saul Muro a. k. a Baryanengwe, who according to Police, his”video is so threatening and savagely fierce.”

PRO of CID Charles Twiine Mansio confirmed the arrests. “The 5 were arrested following a recording of selected videos that were uploaded and later shared on various social media platforms, unfortunately with the potential of causing hatred and unnecessary apprehension. Police also noted that some of the videos had threats of attack on government, and individuals upon which we timely came in to avert the situation,” Twiine said.

“Whereas Uganda Police Force is cognisant, and indeed respect freedom of speech, the public should take note that such rights are not absolute especially when it is likely to lead to, OR prove imminent unlawful acts,” he said, adding that ” We wish to warn individuals or groups of people, that Uganda Police Force in due process of exercising our mandate, shall not hesitate to take action against errant characters who disguise in the entertainment industry to cause grave threats to the security and stability of the country.”

 

The youtube video

In the skit, which starts with a musical, the group members list all persons who are holding key positions in the government, however, pointing out only those individuals from Western Uganda. They, for instance, point out that although the known Inspector General of Police is Martin Okoth Ochola, the actual police boss is Major-General Sabiiti Muzeeyi, who also hails from the west.

Section 41 of the Penal Code defines sectarianism as the practice of degrading or exposing to hatred or contempt or disaffection for anyone on the basis of religion, tribe, or ethnic or regional origin by utterance, printing, publication or performance any such act.

According to the penal code, whoever engages in such acts commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

The group is now detained at the police headquarters, Naguru, Kampala.

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