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HRNJ-Uganda alert, Journalist testifies against police boss (Demo)

Kampala, 4th/February/2015;  Hearing of a criminal case in which the suspended Old Kampala District Police Commander (DPC), SP Joram Mwesigye, is accused of assaulting a WBS TV journalist, Lwanga Andrew has commenced on 04/February/2015, at Buganda Road Magistrates Court before Her Worship Sanyu Mukasa.

The first prosecution witness, Joseph Settimba, a journalist with the government owned Vision Group, told court that on 12th January 2015, while doing his journalistic work, he saw Mwesigye, chasing a group of youth who were demonstrating against unemployment. Joram then started running after the youth and journalists whom he told not to film him.  He had a wire with which he attempted to hit Lwanga, but instead it hooked his pair of Khaki trousers and tore them. In the process, his video camera fell down and got damaged.  Joram then picked a stick which he used to hit journalist, Lwanga on the head and the stick broke into three pieces. Lwanga, then fell down and was carried by two police officers into Mwesigye’s car and drove him to Old Kampala police station.

The DPC is accused of assaulting a journalist and causing malicious damage to property. Prosecution led by Deborah Itwau alleges that on Monday, January 12, 2015, the Division Police Commander (DPC) for Old Kampala Police Station, SP Joram Mwesigye, assaulted Lwanga Andrew, a journalist with Wavah Broadcasting Services (WBS), on the head leaving him unconscious and also smashed and damaged his video camera. Defence is represented by George Spencer.

Lwanga was first admitted at Mulago National Referral hospital on the fateful day, before being transferred to St. Peter’ Hospital Nsambya were he was admitted for over two weeks. He is currently walking with the support of clutches. Doctors recommended that a surgery be carried out on him in the near future.

The matter was adjourned to 18th February for further hearing when Lwanga is expected to testify.

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