13 February 2018

Uganda: New Vision Crime Reporter Charles Etukuri 'Abducted'

Photo: The Observer
Army spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire

A senior crime reporter at Uganda's leading daily The New Vision was picked up reportedly by security personnel at 2pm on Tuesday, as he walked to Kyadondo from Vision Group headquarters at Plot 19/21 First Street, Industrial Area, Kampala.

In several tweets on @newvisionwire, New Vision described what had happened to Charles Etukuri, and indicated the "abduction" could be related to stories he has written about security, most recently one about the death of a Finland national who died at the Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala at the weekend. The story implied that Internal Security Organisation (ISO) operatives were involved.

"Security operatives abduct Vision Group journalist @EtukuriCharles from New Vision head offices in Kampala," @newvisionwire tweeted, adding that "He was picked by operatives dressed in military fatigue. It is suspected that the abduction is related to stories that he had done recently."

The fact that Etukuri's fate could be related to last weekend's stories was emphasized by Vision Groups Editor-in-Chief Barbra Kaija in an interview soon after.

The arrest comes a day after a new Kampala news website run a controversial story indicating Ugandan security was unhappy with the Saturday and Sunday Vision stories, that are said to have been published to put other agencies other than the Police in bad light, and before briefing of all concerned agencies.

"Reports indicate that a vehicle registration number UAH 038A, double cabin, white in colour, had parked near New Vision by 10:00am. The occupants of the vehicle were six, but 5 were in military uniform, while one, a driver was in plain clothes," @newvisionwire said.

Etukuri, who has a wide range of sources, has in the past interviewed top officers in Uganda's security set-up like General Caleb Akandwanaho 'Saleh' and IGP General Kale Kayihura. (photos bottom)

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