Kampala, 29th/January/2015; A Wavah Broadcasting Service (WBS) Television journalist, Lwanga Andrew who was violently assaulted by the suspended Division Police Commander (DPC) of Old Kampala Police Station, Joram Mwesigye, has been discharged from St. Francis Hospital Nsambya where he was admitted two weeks ago in critical condition.
Much as police had committed to paying his medical bills, Lwanga had to spend two more nights without receiving the police money, prompting Lwanga’s family to clear the bill of approximately UGX 1,500,000 (USD 600). Save for the two police spokespersons, Patrick Onyango and Fred Enanga, the leadership of Uganda police shunned visiting the patient at the hospital. This provoked angry reaction from the journalists and other human rights defenders who kept thronging the hospital.
At the time of his discharge, Lwanga looked weak and could not walk by himself, but with the support of crutches. He is still under continous treatment and according to doctors, he may soon undergo surgery
Lwanga was first admitted at Mulago National Referral hospital, before being rushed to Nsambya when he collapsed at the Central Police Station in Kampala. Another victim of assult, Joseph Ssetimba of Bukedde TV was also hospitalized with severe chest pain, constant headache and breathing difficulities. He was discharged after two days. Police did not meet his medical bills.
On 12th January 2015, Mwesigye with the aid of other police officers from Old Kampala Police station went on rampage and assaulted journalists who were covering a peaceful demonstration by a group of unemployed youth who were matching to the police headquarters at Naguru, a Kampala surbub to petition the Inspector General of Police. Journalists slapped a media black-out on the police and marched to the police headquarters in protest against the brutality.
Mwesigye was suspended, charged with assault and malicious damage to property; he was released on bail as the trial is going on.
“We are happy that the two journalists are now out of danger, thanks to the journalists, media houses, human rights organizations and all the stakeholders who have stood in solidarity with the victim journalists. We want justice to be delivered to the victims through expeditious trial of the culprits.” Said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala