The government of Uganda has agreed to allow The Red Pepper and its sister publications resume business.
After a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe on Tuesday night, the president pardoned the Company Directors and its Senior Editors and promised to immediately order the police to vacate the Pepper head office at Namanve and return all confiscated electronic equipment to the company.
The meeting followed both formal and informal protracted negotiations with senior government officials and individuals which commenced when the police stormed the Red Pepper offices on November 21 last year and closed down the publication, sending its five directors and three senior editors to prison for a month.
The closure and subsequent prosecution of the paper’s senior officials, followed a publication the previous day of a lead story that the state said was prejudicial to national security and that of the region.
During the meeting at State House Entebbe, H.E the President warned the Directors and Editors to stop being reckless and become more professional in the course of their reporting.
He immediately ordered his staff to give each of the 8 officials a copy of a revised edition of his autobiography, ‘Sowing the Mustard Seed’ and a booklet containing a lecture he gave during the marking of Nelson Mandela’s Day at Makerere University last year, to “sharpen their ideological awareness”.
The Directors and Senior Editors pledged to the President and the nation, a more transformed and professional publication going forward.
As the formal process to reopen the newspaper that has been under police siege for two months gets underway, the ground is now set for The Red Pepper to hit the streets very soon.