The New Times (Kigali)

29 July 2011

Rwanda: Ishema Publisher Dismisses Threats Reports

Fidele Gakire, the Managing Director of Ishema - a local weekly Kinyarwanda newspaper has dismissed reports that he has received threats on his life, following wide spread denunciation of his publication which run a highly defamatory article against the President.

"Nobody has issued any threats against me. Nobody has tried to threaten me in any way and I don't know the motivation behind the rumours. As far as we are concerned nothing has changed and our work continues uninterrupted," he said.

Gakire who was reacting to reports that have been circulated suggesting that he has been subjected to harassment and his life threatened, went on to disclose to The New Times that he has hired a new Chief Editor, following the resignation of Didas Niyifasha, who quit, on Wednesday, because of the same article.

"I now have a new Chief Editor and I am going to make sure that what happened will never be repeated," Gakire said.

The new Chief Editor, Josée Uwiringira, has been a freelancer with her work published in various Kinyarwanda outlets.

Gakire pointed out that he is going to be very keen, look through each and every article to make sure that no such error happens again.

"I am going to enforce professional standards in my paper. I will make sure I crosscheck and examine all the citations and references provided in the content," he asserted.

The Managing Director said that he has published an apology to the President and the Rwandan people, in this week's issue, no.25 set to hit the streets today, Friday.

Patrice Mulama, the Executive Secretary of the Media High Council (MHC), said that his office is in touch with Gakire and any reports of threats are fabrications and rumours.

Ishema was, on Tuesday, suspended for six months, from association membership by the Forum for Private Newspapers (FPN), after it published an offensive article.

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