This week, journalist Andrew Mwenda (watch his TEDTalk) launched a weekly newspaper, The Independent, in Kampala, Uganda. His journalism has been critical of the Ugandan government, and he writes in an email that the president warned off his first printer. From his email:
we have been through a lot of hell. our launch was supposed to be friday last week with the maiden issue of the newspaper. then, president’s office called our printers and asked them not to print us on thursday morning for our launch issue of friday morning. we ran desperately to other printers all of whom told us that they had been warned against printing us.
however, we finally managed to get someone beyond state control and the paper is out. the lesson is that we need our own printer to be independent. the other, is that the road to freedom and liberty is a tough one. however, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. and we are marching on that road with greater confidence now.
Reporter Tim Cocks, writing for Reuters, confirms this report, speaking to the printer in question; a spokesperson for the Ugandan president said he knew of no such order.