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Did Ugandan newspaper trivialise shooting incident involving prominent pastor? No, front page has been doctored

IN SHORT: A front page of what appears to be the Daily Monitor newspaper seemingly downplays a shooting that left one person dead. But it has been manipulated.

An image that appears to be the front page of the Daily Monitor, a Ugandan newspaper, has attracted attention on social media. It started circulating on Facebook in January 2024.

It is headlined: “Stunt goes bad, driver dies.” It also features a photo of Aloysius Bugingo, an influential Ugandan pastor and outspoken supporter of president Yoweri Museveni.

On 2 January, Bugingo was hospitalised after a shooting incident. Ugandan police said unidentified assailants opened fire on Bugingo’s vehicle, wounding the influential pastor and killing his bodyguard, Richard Muhumuza.

Bugingo runs the House of Prayer Ministries and uses his media channels to give unconditional support to Museveni.

The front page, which also includes a photo of a car at what appears to be a crime scene, has a subheading that reads: “Gov’t to silence family with condolences.”

It was shared on social media just days after the shooting.

The front page has also been shared here, here, here, here and here. But is it authentic? We checked.

DailyMonitor_Fake

No such article published

The first sign that something is amiss is that the cover is dated 16 November 2019.  

Bugingo's name is not mentioned once on the entire page, even though his photo and that of his car at the scene of the shooting are prominent.

The Daily Monitor publishes its daily front page on its official Facebook and X accounts. Africa Check searched the newspaper's social platforms for the front page circulating online, but could not find it.

We tried the exact search on Google and found a Facebook post showing a Daily Monitor front page from 16 November 2019. It had several similarities to the image circulating on Facebook, but with a completely different headline.

On 6 January 2024, the Daily Monitor posted the screenshot to its X account, stamped “FAKE NEWS ALERT”.

“Disregard this graphic making rounds on social media. It is not a representation of Saturday Monitor by any standards. #MonitorUpdates,” the paper wrote.

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