A number of investigative journalists at Uganda’s leading media house Vision Group are in panic after president Yoweri Museveni’s directive to have them investigated.
Multiple credible sources at Vision group have intimated to theGrapevine that it all started a few days to 2021 general elections when embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Kabushenga applied for an interview with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party presidential candidate Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni through Judith Nabakooba, the information minister.bit.ly/bettingoffersug
Sources disclosed that Museveni accepted the interview after being promised that it was going to be published on all vision group outlets which include: Bukedde newspaper, the New Vision, Bukedde 1 & 2 Televisions, Bukedde radio, Urban television among others.
Sources divulged that the Vision group journalists were supposed to be led by Kabushenga himself, others were; Barbra Kaija, the Editor in Chief of the New Vision, Bukedde newspaper editor Richard Kayira Ssalongo, Bukedde TV’s Charles Kalooli Sseruga Matovu commonly knowns as Munnakyalo, New Vision writer David Lumu and some Photojournalists.
Sources said that on the day of the interview, Museveni himself made a phone call to Nabakooba directing her that when she is coming for the interview, she should not come with Kabushenga because he doesn’t want to look at him.bit.ly/bettingoffersug
“Kabushenga was stopped on the way, that’s why there was a lot of fear among journalists apart from Sseruga who is in good books with the president because of his maturity in journalism,” a source said.
He added that since then, Kabushenga started planning how to jump out of his two year contract which was just awarded to him.
INTELLIGENCE REPORT PINS KABUSHENGA
Sources revealed that before the elections, President Museveni received a political intelligence report from different intelligence organisations predicting his loss in Buganda.
Credible sources in the State House revealed that among the factors given to Museveni for his impending loss was the bad publicity from certain Vision group media outlets like Bukedde Television, Bukedde newspaper and Bukedde radio.
Source added that Museveni was told that programmes like Fayiro kumeeza which is presented by Richard Kayira, Agataliiko nfuufu news programme and some frequently stage managed investigations on most of their electronic media platforms were killing his votes.
Sources said that Museveni was told that in some of those programmes, government was put in bad light and portraying some of his officers and men as facilitators of violence.bit.ly/bettingoffersug
“It was intentional to show people from Western Uganda brutally evicting poor Baganda from their land, they made sure they don’t do any editing when showing how security operatives especially those from police and army allegedly brutalize people something security thinks was planned to cost Museveni victory in Buganda,” the source said.
He added that the said Vision outlets continued to put Museveni’s government in bad light when they showed hospitals and other government institutions in very poor state which showed that the government had failed to deliver services to the natives who voted them into power five years ago.
DGF’S SHS3BN CASH THAT COST M7 VICTORY IN BUGANDA
Credible sources in State House further revealed that President Museveni received an intelligence report that foreigners were hiding in the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), a non-government organization, to facilitate the downfall of his government through funding special content that puts his government in bad light.
The report indicates that DGF entered a Shs3bn deal with New Vision’s Kabushenga to run investigative stories where poor communities are portrayed as being left out by government.bit.ly/bettingoffersug
Sources said that Journalists like Moses Walugembe, Paul Mayinja, Benon Nsubuga, Pius Kyanda, Nuhu Lukungu, Siraje Semugenyi and others were assigned on orders of Kabushenga to handle those stories which were aired out.
“Journalists were heavily facilitated, equipped with modern gadgets like moving cameras some of which were planted on their eye glasses, they were given watches with cameras, notebooks with cameras, pens with cameras. They used those gadgets to expose government officers especially in the immigration and the entire internal affairs ministry,” the source narrated.
He added that the huge Shs3bn project created bad blood among top journalists at vision group who started fighting each other.
The intelligence report revealed that most of the DGF sponsored investigations were done in Buganda and the victims who testified in the said investigations were selected with a mission to expose Museveni’s government.
Sources said that detectives concluded that the Shs3bn DGF project was about to raise people’s tempers against Museveni’s government and vote him out of power giving an advantage to National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.
MUSEVENI DIRECTS PROSECUTION OF VISION’S TOP JOURNALISTS
In his furious letter, using his executive powers as the president, after suspending the activities of DGF, the president also directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigation Department of the Uganda police, State House Anti-Corruption Unity commanded by the nonsense Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema and the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to carry out further investigations.
Sources allege that the President thinks that Kabushenga and other vision group journalists were working for the interests of foreigners who have of late become hostile and are threatening the peace and stability of the country.
Detectives insist that there was also a lot of corruption in all DGF deals with New Vision.
“On paper they are indicating that they have received Shs1.3bn but our investigations indicate that certain individuals especially those who cut the deal received Shs3bn and only delivered Shs1.3bn,” a seasoned detective disclosed.
Sources at the State House Anti-corruption unit told theGrapevine that they have kicked off investigations into the matter and a number of top journalists are set to record statements starting with their boss Kabushenga and Kayira.
It should be remembered that a few years back, a New Vision’s investigative journalist was arrested in connection with leaking state intelligence to foreign countries but he was released without being charged in Courts of Law.
MUSEVENI DIRECTS NABAKOOBA TO SWEEP VISION GROUP CLEAN
Sources added that President Museveni, basing on one of the intelligence reports has directed information Minister Judith Nabakooba to clean the vision group house from the top management.
According to these sources, the exercise is going to take three months and a number of senior journalists especially in Bukedde TV, Bukedde Newspaper, Bukedde radio are likely to lose their jobs.
“People like Kulubya, Kayira, Ssebbowa, that lugambo man Sseguya and others may be on their way out of New Vision, Mzee wants new blood there. People who will protect government interests,” the source recounted.
TOP JOURNALISTS THINKING OF RUNNING INTO EXILE
When the Grapevine contacted one of the implicated senior journalists at Vision group, he confirmed that there is a lot of panic at the station and some of their colleagues are pondering running into exile.
“You know me very well, where are those huge billions of monies they are accusing me of eating? We were only paid in hundreds of shillings, not in millions, let them deal with our bosses, not poor foot soldiers like us,” the seasoned political reporter said.bit.ly/bettingoffersug
SOURCE : https://www.thegrapevine.co.ug/
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