By Bobi Wine
This morning I was supposed to be hosted by Capital FM for Capital Gang. I was later informed that the radio was directed by UCC and received phone-calls from security operatives not to host me. I was called by other radio and TV stations and they confirmed that they received the same order- with threats that if I am hosted, they risk being closed.
If you were looking for signs of a collapsing regime, look no further. This is cowardly and unacceptable. The regime thinks they can stop us from reaching our people. They are doing things not different from what they claimed to fight against. Instead of focusing on trying to clean up the mess they have created, they are trying to cover it up. We have exposed them, they can’t stomach it any longer.
My message to them is this;
Learn from history, but again, dictators never learn from history. White people say that history repeats itself but Eriya Kategaya said ” stupid people repeat history”, I believe Kategaya.
Whenever regimes attempt to suppress the press and keep people in darkness, they never go far. You may switch the radios off air, but you cannot switch off the resolve of the people to protect and defend the Constitution and to better their country. You can switch off some microphones- but the people shall soon speak- loud and clear.
Let me also ask, what reason do they give for this directive? On what law is it based? If it is because of last week’s events at Parliament, how are they related to what we say in the media? Is Mr. Mutabazi now the Speaker of Parliament outside Parliament???
Let me remind him that Ugandans are watching. All state institutions are better off not being part of this crime- the rape of the Constitution.
I call upon all TVs, Radio Stations and the print media to ignore this illegal directive. Article 29(1) (a) of the Constitution of Uganda states that ‘every person shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media.’ The highest Court in this country has also stated that “the right to freedom of expression extends to holding, receiving and imparting all forms of opinions, ideas and information.
Everyone is free to express his or her views. Indeed, the protection is most relevant and required when a person’s views are opposed or objected to by any part of Society.”
Perhaps the reason why they used phone-calls is because they know what they are doing is illegal and not tenable in the 21st century.
I know that this Constitution means nothing to them, but it is important to tell our friends in the media fraternity that the directive is not only illegal and unconstitutional, but also immoral. As Martin Luther King jr. said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” The media should, and must ignore it. Be on the right side of history, comrades! As these past events have showed, you are either with the dictatorship or with the people! The people’s side shall win.
Throughout history, dictators target the media because it is the vehicle through which citizens get to hear the truth. But as they say lies are no match for the truth. We should not fear those who fear the truth. The truth is one and the same- Uganda shall be free. This cause shall not be silenced. It shall not be limited by narrow laws and directives.
We shall reach our people! The message must go out. We are the country, we are the future and the future is today. Eno ye ssawa!
They should also remember that we are in this age of social media. The world is more connected than before. Tell your friend to tell their friend that I shall still communicate to the world through Facebook, Twitter, and our website. If they stop us from going to radio, we shall send out voice notes on whatsapp. No matter what happens, we shall speak- because we speak for the people. And the voice of the people is the voice of God.
The Author is Kyadondo East MP