BUKEDDE BOSS FIRED OVER ‘PRO-BOBI WINE COVERAGE’
By Mulengera Reporters
Photo editor Lumansi, a long-serving employee for Bukedde newspaper, is jobless after the state became uncomfortable with him continuing to occupy such a sensitive position on the eve of a major election that 2021 is promising to be.
As photo editor, Lumansi has been in charge of overseeing photo outlay of the newspaper something that placed him to have the last word over who gets prime publicity and coverage on which page. He, every morning, deploys photographers and determines which photos get used where and how.
For some time, insiders say the state has been uncomfortable with the prominent publicity Bobi Wine has been getting in the country’s most selling newspaper (doing an average of 60,000 copies a day). Mr. Wine has lately been getting great pictorial publicity on the Bukedde front pages, a thing that naturally discomforts supporters of the incumbent President YK Museveni.
Whereas Lumansi might have acted in good faith in the honest conviction that this is how the company acquires or maintains good copy sales, the state operatives didn’t think so. The coverage was perceived as a deliberate effort to soar up Mr. Wine to overshadow the incumbent who has equally been active in the field undertaking activities that merit publicity.
Reliable Vision Group insiders say that two weeks ago, representations were made to CEO Robert Kabushenga that the big man was increasingly becoming agitated with the excessive publicity the boy from Magere was continuing to command on the Bukedde front-page.
Considering himself busy with better things to do for the company at the strategic level, Kabushenga referred the matter to Editor in Chief Barbara Kaija to handle being the one directly more concerned with editorial matters. Kaija convened meetings during which other top editorial leaders denied responsibility insisting that Lumansi (who opulently lives in Makindye) must answer for his pro-Bobi Wine editorial decisions.
In the end, when his explanations were found unsatisfactory, Geoffrey Kulubya, who is at the epitome of the Bukedde editorial hierarchy, was directed to kick him out and that exactly is what happened. Lumansi’s efforts to involve lawyers, arguing those legal things of wrongful dismissal, didn’t help as management insisted that firing him was the only way to circumvent the extreme pressure that was being mounted on them.
Lumansi’s contemporary Kizito, the bulky photojournalist from Nakifuma, has since been tasked to carry on serving as photo editor albeit in acting capacity. But knowledgeable sources say the situation might only escalate because Kizito’s love and admiration for Mr. Wine is of World Cup proportions. (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).