By Simon Abaho
Author Norman Tumuhimbise, 36 and journalist Farida Bikobere, 27 have been charged with disturbing the peace and quiet of President Museveni and consequently remanded to Luzira Prisons until March, 21, 2022.
The duo were part of the group of 9 nine journalists belonging to onling media platform, DigiTalks, who were abducted by military from their offices in Makindye last week.
Whereas seven members of the group were released on police bond, Tumuhimbise and Bikobere were not, and on Wednesday, the two were arraigned before Grade One Magistrate Rhona Tukundane at Makindye Chief Magistrates Court.
The magistrate charged them with two offences, including cyber stalking President Museveni contrary to section 26 of th Computer Misuse Act 2011 and Offensive Communication contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.
Prosecution alleged that the duo and others still at large between January 2020 and March 9, 2022, while at Lukuli Makindye Division in Kampala, willfully, maliciously and repeatedly used electronic communication to wit Alternative DigiTalks Online Television and relayed offensive information to wit the “Politics of Komanyoko, Unsowing the Mastered Seed, Liars And Accomplices” directed against the person of the President of the Republic of Uganda.
Prosecution also added that the two, through their platform, intended “to disturb the peace and quiet of the President of the Republic of Uganda.”
The seven other colleagues were released on police bond included; Arnold Mukose (programmes director), Faridah Bikobere, Jeremiah Mukiibi (producer), Tumusiime Kato (production), Roger Tulyahabwe (production), Teddy Teangle Nabukeera (presenter), Lillian Luwedde (presenter) and Jeje Jacob Wabyona (student intern).
Their lawyer Eron Kiiza said shortly after the court session that the charges were “seditious”.
“Both were tortured like the other journalist ms with whom they were arrested on Thursday and released on police bond,” Kiiza added.
The arrest of the DigiTalks journalists came at a tim when the group had announced on social media that they were going to launch two books; Liars and Accomplices” and “The kumanyoko politics: Unsowing the Mustard Seed on March 30, 2022 at Imperial Royale.
Tumuhimbise now becomes the second author to be charged with disturbing Museveni’s peace this year. Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, author of “The Greedy Barbarian” was also charged with the same earlier this year before being granted bail. He flew out of the country through a porous border shortly after.