Uganda’s most popular tabloid paper will soon be back on newsstands after senior management promised to be more “professional” and were given a presidential pardon late Tuesday.
Eight editors and directors of the Red Pepper were originally charged with treason and later with damaging the reputation of President Yoweri Museveni and others following the publication of a story alleging a Ugandan plot to overthrow the Rwandan government.
“After a meeting with President Museveni at State House, Entebbe Tuesday night, he pardoned the company directors and its senior editors and promised to immediately order the police to vacate Pepper Headquarters,” the publisher said in a statement.
“During the meeting at State House, the President warned the directors and editors to stop being reckless and become more professional in the course of their reporting. The directors pledged to the President and the nation a more transformed and professional publication,” the Red Pepper said.
The statement added that the tabloid, which specialises in scurrilous gossip and political scoops, would “hit the streets again soon” after more than two months in limbo since a November police raid.
A presidential spokesman confirmed Tuesday’s meeting saying the Red Pepper had been permitted to reopen after having “apologized to the nation”.