Newsletter: Freedom of Expression in East Africa

Newsletter: Freedom of Expression in East Africa - Civic Space

At the printing press of Newsline, staff look at their most recent edition. Charles Kabonero (managing director) and his colleagues had to flee to Uganda after their independent weekly Umuseso newspaper was banned in their native country. Now working in exile in Kampala, Charles and his colleagues started a new newspaper Newsline.

September 2015

This monthly bulletin provides a snapshot of the status of Freedom of Expression in Eastern Africa. It is compiled by ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, with the assistance of its partners in the respective countries.


September 8: Jemima Kiare, a journalist with Royal Media Services was injured while covering a protest in Kajiado.

September 18: A journalist with one of the Kenya’s leading daily newspaper was threatened by an unknown individual while investigating a corruption story about a judicial officer. The caller warned the journalist to keep clear of matters that don’t concern him, or he could face consequences which would include being “shot very many times.”

September 22: Hired men harassed and beat up two journalists Moses Odhiambo and Faith Matete while they were covering a demonstration over increased insecurity in the town Kisumu in Western Kenya.

September 24: Six journalists were barred from covering County Assembly proceedings in Homa Bay County after reporting misappropriation of Kenya Shillings 51 million from their county budget.

September 30: West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin threatened to chase out journalists working in his county: he said that journalists who continue reporting negative stories will have to leave the County.


September 18: Shamshad Naluggya, a Bukedde TV journalist, was assaulted by the Njeru Town Council Senior Community Development Officer, Joyce Guleeta, accusing her of recording a meeting without her knowledge. Naluggya had gone to cover a meeting which had been called to follow up a complaint filed by a group of disadvantaged students, who allege that their guardian had stopped paying their school fees despite continuing to receive money from the donors.

September 23: Derrick Kiyonga a court reporter with the Ugandan Observer newspaper was arrested at around 1.00pm as he came out of the court where he was covering the case of those suspected to have planted the twin bombs during the World Cup final in Kampala in 2010, which killed more than 70 people and injured several. The Counter Terrorism Police, arrested Kiyonga and detained him for one and a half hours accusing him of indulging in “work that is not his.”  He was released without any charges.


September 8: Abdullahi Ali Hussein, the editor of the English-language section of the Somali online newspaper Waagasucub, was gunned down in the Mogadishu district of Dharkenley. Also known by the pseudonym of Ano Gel, he was shot by unidentified gunmen who followed him as he left a mosque. He told a colleague that he had received telephone threats.

September 14: Sahan Radio, a Puntland-based independent station, was acquitted of criminal defamation charges in a case by the government. On 12 August, Somali’s Puntland government had issued a legal writ against the Sahan Radio, accusing it of spreading false news. While making the decision, the judge said that they had decided to strike down the criminal proceedings, since the government’s lawsuit couldn’t amount to charges of slur, according to the Garowe publication.