The movie translator and commentator spend the night in custody
Geoffrey Bbosa (L) and VJ Junior (2nd L), at Kibuli Police where they were presented before Minister Simon Lokodo (R). Photo by Ashraf Kasirye
Renowned movie translator and commentator Marysmats Matovu aka VJ Junior was on Tuesday evening arrested and taken to Police CIID headquarters in Kibuli on the orders of State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo.
Lokodo alleges that Matovu and his colleague Geoffrey Bbosa were arrested on grounds that they have for long been producing and circulating pornographic materials on CDs, flash discs and other devices across the country.
The two were arrested from their work places in the city centre and taken to Wilson Street Police Post after which detectives moved them to Kibuli where they spent the night.
While at Kibuli, they met Lokodo, who read them the Anti-Pornography Act, and showed them some of the pornographic movies he alleges that they produced or translated and have audio commentary done by VJ Junior.
"I have evidence beyond reasonable doubt to lock you up for damaging the moral fibre of this country. You are a producer, a trafficker, a distributor of pornographic material which has circulated throughout the country" Lokodo told VJ Junior.
He requested him to save time and resources, accept to become a State witness, then help Government to locate and apprehend other criminals of that kind who are still at large.
VJ Junior declined the offer and at the same time denied the allegations, but refused to speak about the allegations before he meets his legal team.
Lokodo also revealed to the suspects that the Uganda Media Council and other authorities passed on a notification to all movie makers including VJ Junior to stop producing, making and circulating movies that have not been approved by UCC, URSB and Uganda Media Council but they went ahead with the action.
Meanwhile his colleague Bbosa who introduced himself as the chairperson Youth Entrepreneurs and Movie Distributors Association in which VJ Junior also belongs and is a leader, accepted the fact that they received a warning from the Media Council.
He however explained that the notification was not about pornographic material as Lokodo alleges, but it was about government beginning to license and tax their shops and productions and the reason why there hasn't been any compliance so far is because there has been a contention over the amount of fees to be paid per movie.
"They were telling us to pay sh150,000 per movie imported and sold, which we found unfair and we have been trying to talk it out with them, but the issue of pornography is all a defaming act from some of our enemies in the industry" said Bbosa.
Some of their colleagues, who followed them to Kibuli after arrest, said that these cases are all concoctions by Uganda Film Producers Association (UFPA) who have failed to enforce their aspirations of sending all foreign movies off the market and replacing them with Ugandan movies and now they are doing it through defamation.
Gerald Sserunjoji the UFPA's head of operations denied the allegations and said the suspects should instead defend themselves against the evidence adduced by the minister on pornography charges.
Lokodo asked Police to keep them behind bars and make quick investigations before being taken to court.