By Chris Kiwawulo
Police have arrested a self-styled socialite and blogger, Isma Lubega Olaxes, over alleged offensive communication and criminal libel.
Olaxes joins the three NBS journalists who were on Friday arrested and charged over the same offences. This was after a local artiste, Omulangira Ssuuna, reported the matter to Police.
The Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) spokesperson, Charles Twiine, today morning confirmed that Olaxes alias Isma Kalevu had been arrested.
“Detectives at CID headquarters have this morning October 4, 2021, arrested Isma Olaxes aka Isma Kalevu and charged him to court for offensive communication and criminal libel,” Twiine said in a tweet.
Ssuuna had reportedly over the weekend staked sh1m for any person who would provide information on the whereabouts of Olaxes, who had reportedly gone into hiding after a case was reported to the Police against him.
Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court on Friday charged and remanded the three NBS television presenters over offensive communication and criminal libel. Olaxes faces the same charges.
The three journalists remanded are Isaac Kawalya popularly known within the entertainment circles as Kayz, Brian Wako and William Nkuluri. Singer Suuna complained to police that the trio continuously used their programme on NBS TV to defame him.
The trio was charged alongside blogger Olaxes, who was not in court, and the three journalists were remanded to Kitalya Government Prison until October 15.
Most notable among the accusations was that the singer has bad luck. The trio and others also reportedly discussed the singer’s new mansion. They reportedly claimed that the singer had lost his parents and yet this was not true.
On Friday, Twiine warned media houses and media practitioners to desist from continuous harassment of members of the public especially celebrities.
“The law is lenient. It gives you time to think twice. Offensive communication comes with the element of repeated communication. If you do it once and someone has complained do not do it again. When you repeat you try to portray an element of impunity and that is when the law strikes,” Twiine told New Vision.
He noted that the trio and others had done it to Ssuuna and had continued doing it to so many other people, but some other people had ignored.
“Crime is an individual liability, but upon conviction, the victim can take on the media house for failing to prevail over their errant staff. We want the editors to ensure that some of the communication that is offensive in nature should be detected and curtailed. These are young men who are still having an opportunity at career growth and when they start with such crimes, in one way or another it will dent their career,” Twiine added.