Unity FM radio employees released, radio still switched-off

No freedom yet: Unity Radio's staff rearrested. Courtesy photo.

Lira – Workforce of Radio Unity 97.7 Fm located in Lira town who were arrested last Saturday by joint security forces have been released on Police bond.

They were arrested after Lira DPC Joel Tubanone with his men in uniform stormed Jinja camp based radio and ordered it off air.

Staff and some visitor [s] found at the station were arrested and ‘bundled’ into a waiting police pickup and whisked away to Lira Central Police Station from where they have been in custody until today [Monday].

Those who had been arrested include; Odongo Charles [Chaku] who’s a technician and one of the directors, Ogwang Felix, Ogwal Micheal, Alwala Denis Charles, Emmy Zoomlamai Okello, Opio Ken, Engola Okello Junior [son to defense State Minsiter, Rtd Col. P. Charles Okello Engola Macodwogo], and Aaron Olao.

“They were charged with no criminal offense but told to report back to Lira CPS on Tuesday [tomorrow],” reports Frank Oyugi from Lira town.

According to DPC Joel Tubanone, speaking to journalists on Saturday after the raid on the radio, says the closure was to control a worsening situation [protest] by those he called idle youth

Read more: Lira RDC ‘did it’: Radio Unity 97.7 Fm switched-off for ‘inciting violence’

He added that the radio was inciting locals to protest and revenge against Indian traders in Lira town following alleged murder case on two of their own.

Until now, the radio remains silent amidst calls from locals to those in authorities to pardon radio management and have it back on air.

Radio Unity closure ‘shocks’ UCC

On Monday, this news website contacted Uganda Communication Commissions [UCC], a government body [commission] mandated to regulate and monitor all radios and online newspapers in the country to find out if they shut Lira based radio, the commission could not comment further.

“Which radio is that?”  UCC official who sounded to be in shock like many, asked our reporter, adding: “We shall follow it up and update you.”

By press time, this contemporary news website had not received any call or comments from UCC, in regards to Unity Fm unexpected closure.

However, many are castigating Lira RDC, Milton Odongo for making one of his vows come to pass.

On Wednesday last week, Mr. Odongo warned Lango radios against going overboard with their daily businesses, adding he has power to order for shutting.

Read: “Yes he can do it” – Lira RDC threatens to close Lango media houses

Same day, Monday, November 19, 2018 – Lira Grade One Magistrate Court remanded two Indian traders who are accused of killing Dickens Okello, 11, a former pupil of Alito Primary school in Kole district.

Madmay Gaga, 22, and Vayas Fravay, 27 were produced before Lira Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

They appeared before Grade One Magistrate, Adiro Igah who read charges against them. The court did not allow them to take any plea.

The accused suspects were soon remanded to Soroti government prison until 3, December, 2018 when they will reappear before the same court to take their plea.

ReadLira Court remands two Indian traders accused of killing Kole pupil

The accused before Lira Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Courtesy photo.

Additional reporting by Frank Oyugi 

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