After eleven days, the offices of the Daily Monitor, KFM, Dembe FM, and Red Pepper are now open! It’s a bittersweet victory/sugarcoated defeat for the Ugandan media, as I’ll elaborate on in another post tonight, but for now we celebrate.
Part of that celebration should include an ovation to social media, which was probably the best source of information during the media siege. Even though the Observer, Independent, and various online publications covered the media closure, the fastest way to access information was on Twitter. Many aggrieved journalists tweeted their frustrations with the sad and sometimes amusing actions of the Uganda Police Force.
Unfortunately, the Ugandan government might be catching onto this new social force. Chimpreports.com (a news site with a mixed reputation) reports that Security Minister Muruli Mukasa announced yesterday that the government will establish a “Social Media Monitoring unit to weed out those who use it to damage the government and people’s reputations.”
I hope that these aren’t the last sarcastic tweets that Ugandans will launch at their government. Thus, we should take a moment to acknowledge the freedom that Ugandans currently have on social media. In spite of that freedom, however, I have removed some of the names of these Tweeters. I don’t want the UPF’s Media Crimes Unit to read my blog and start targeting these people…
#RedPepperSiege what hyena won’t do to those police women !! smh
Hyena is a sex column in the Red Pepper, in which the hyena “bonks” people.
Power is on. Umeme was only doing regular meter maintenance.#Monitor siege
The largest power distributor in Uganda responds directly to accusations that it turned off the power at the Monitor at the police’s request. The company insists they were doing maintenance at the same time that the police stormed the building.
#RedPepperSiege day3 only 2 officers searching a pile of papers, the others (30+) are lounging under the trees in the compound.
If I May Ask: Who keeps something of interest in their Office? These guys are overlooking e-Documentation -I wont share my password #Monitor
Update from @RedPepperUG siege: An insert from the Ministry of Energy. A press release from the army. A lip gloss. Some hot pictures….
Now searching the Daily Monitor features desk….there’s lots of paper here…
#PoliceRaidPlaylist: Drake – Started From The Bottom Now We’re On The Printing Press Floor.
Tell the children that we are sorry they couldn’t get their copies of Today’s Rainbow Magazine. Signed (Auntie) Brenda, Daily Monitor
Of all places you expect Gen. Sejusa to be having company with Mr. Hyena at Red Pepper offices #OccupyRedPepper
We shall continue 2 occupy & search Monitor and Red Pepper premises until we retrieve the said letter of Gen.Sejusa. http://facebook.com/ugandaupf .
#RedPepperSiege day3 police says the dog they had yesterday at our office was ‘a stray dog’ and not a member of their K9 unit
@allafrica Uganda not disrupting press freedom – Minister of information @Karooro_Okurut http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/details.php?catId=3&item=2083 …
Thats what all Journalists who love Journalism should do. Will never cover Police Sports activities again till they apologise…
BREAKING: Ug. Police have found d pen that wrote d Sejusa letter, it’s d same that wrote EMMESEE AND MIC YA ZIGGY D! Wow @DailyMonitor OPENS
Police raid: Apparently, the police are looking for Gen Sejusa‘s letter. That it was sent without a post office stamp.
Some1 wants us arrested, they’ve pinned big RETURN OF THE HERO: GEN. SEJUSA posters outside Monitor offices