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Media warned on inciting ethnic tensions after Lugogo shooting

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The Media Council of Uganda has cautioned a leading Kampala daily newspaper, accusing the publication of taking advantage of Kanyamunyu’s incident to “publish content containing hate speech and tribal sentiments”.

In his letter addressed to the management of The Red Pepper on Monday, the council chairman Paul Ekochu, said that it had come to the attention of the council that The Red Pepper through its sister tabloid of Hello had started publishing stories related to the shooting of one Kenneth Akena which occurred Saturday night using tribal sentiments.

This follows a story published by Hello tabloid on Monday 14th November 2016 Vol. 5 No. 018 Under the headline “Munyakole Tycoon shoots Acholi guy dead to impress babe at game mall”.

Ekochu, indicates that the article by the tabloid in particular “is manifestly sectarian contrary to the provisions of Section 41 of the Penal Code Act and that it’s blatantly misleading as to suggest that a crime was committed on the basis of ethnicity”.

According to the letter that is also copied to the Minister for Information, Communication Technology and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze, the director of public prosecutions, Mike Chibita , and the Commissioner Media Crimes desk at the Uganda Police Force Simon Kuteesa , Ekochu warned that should they opt to continue reporting in the same grossly irresponsible manner further action will be taken against the management and the tabloid

The Red Pepper management has also been put on notice with the council saying that they never registered the particulars of Hello Newspaper as required under Section 5 of the Press and Journalists Act, which is an offence under the law.

Police has interrogated one Mathew Kanyamunyu in connection with the shooting but he has insisted that he was a Good Samaritan who rushed Akena to hospital after the incident.

Meanwhile speaking to journalists at parliament, the shadow minister for internal affairs and human rights Mohammad Muwanga Kivumbi said that the government should come up and strengthen regulations on the possession and use of small arms in Uganda.

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