Police extend Monitor editor’s bond

Pending. The head of CID’s media crimes, Mr Isaac Oketcho, told Mr Bichachi that he was waiting for courts to open.

BY ANDREW BAGALA
abagala@ug.nationmedia.com

KAMPALA. Police have extended the release bond for the Monitor Publications Executive Editor, Mr Charles Odoobo Bichachi, over presidential age limit stories to Wednesday next week.

The CID is investigating Mr Bichachi on allegations of offensive communication and libel over stories published about the budget of the planned removal of the presidential age limit from the Constitution. The Daily Monitor story was about the budget the parliamentary committee would spend while discussing the presidential age limit Bill in 10 days.

MPL Executive Editor. Mr Charles Odoobo Bichachi
MPL Executive Editor. Mr Charles Odoobo Bichachi

The head of CID’s media crimes, Mr Isaac Oketcho, told Mr Bichachi that he was waiting for courts to open.
“I am busy today…. Come back on Wednesday when the courts are open,” Mr Oketcho told Mr Bichachi at CID headquarters in Kampala yesterday.

The prosecutors, who have to peruse the case file to determine whether it has merit or not, are on strike over pay.
Mr Bichachi said he will comply with the police directives, but he believes there is no merit in the case.
On October 17, detectives also interrogated Red Pepper editor Richard Kintu on similar stories. Mr Kintu is also reporting on police bond. According to the police, MP Raphael Magezi (Igara West Constituency) and nine of his colleagues on the committee, lodged a complaint about a story published on October 10 in Daily Monitor and another in Red Pepper the following day.

The police refused to name the other nine, saying they are still receiving complaints. Section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011 on offensive communication makes it criminal, with a punishment of one year or a fine of Shs480,000 or both, for any person to uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person.

Libel, under Section 179 of the Penal Code Act, indicates that “any person who, by print, writing, painting, effigy or by any means otherwise than solely by gestures, spoken words or other sounds, unlawfully publishes any defamatory matter concerning another person, with intent to defame that other person, commits the misdemeanour termed libel.”