- A long-standing chief executive of the state-owned 'New Vision Newspaper' in Uganda, William Pike, was reported to have forcefully thrown his towel after he had refused to endorse the sacking of his colleague editors. Mr Pike is a Briton of 40 years journalism experience who has been both the managing director and editor of the state-owned newspaper for almost twenty years.
A veteran editor of the paper, David Sseppuuya, took over editorial affairs but sources said a Belgian female journalist, Els De Temmerman, will soon occupy the seat. The new editor fist joined 'New Vision' as a sports editor in 1990. He became associate editor, features editor and later deputy editor last year.
Ugandan officials meanwhile denied the appointment of the Belgian lady, saying 'New Vision' is a public company that does not appoint people without going through the process of advertising a vacancy.
Ms Temmerman, who formerly served as the Africa correspondent for a Dutch daily, 'De Volksrant' and Belgian Radio and Television based in Uganda and Kenya, is currently a consultant at the editorial department of 'New Vision'.
Seen as an arch critic of Uganda's brutal Lord Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, the Belgian soon caught the attraction of President Yoweri Museveni, culminating in her present appointment. She reportedly refused to occupy the post of the paper's deputy editor, which still remains vacant since last year.
It is believed that Uganda's ruling party found it difficult to bend the editorial line of 'New Vision' as long as Mr Pike and Mr Sseppuuya remain as head of editorial affairs. Mr Pike is singled out for opposing the third-term bid of President Museveni, which is said to have resulted to his forceful resignation.
Informed sources said the Ugandan government has been working on Mr Pike since last year when they appointed Permanent Secretary of Defence Ministry, Brigadier Noble Mayombo, as the chairman of 'New Vision'.
"Many reasons are being given for the resignation of Mr Pike but we believe he was forced to do so," an editor of 'New Vision' told afrol News. "A former company secretary of New Vision who has been in charge of the President's media centre has subsequently been appointed to replace him."
The editor, who wants to be covered for fear of reprisals, said the issue is very delicate because "we are yet to know clearly what the agenda of President Museveni is. It seems our long time enjoyed freedom is about to be stripped off."
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