Kampala, January, 24th/2012; a journalist working with Capital FM radio in Kampala, Gideon Tugume was attacked by gunmen on the night of Saturday 20th January 2012 at Kenjoy Supermarket.
Barely three minutes after Tugume had parked at Kenjoy supermarket in Bukoto a suburb of Kampala, than another vehicle arrived at bottleneck speed, hitting his car from the rear side of the driver’s seat and damaging the back part of the car.
“I was too shocked. When I came out to see what was happening, four men dressed in civilian attire emerged from a Honda CRV car registration number UAH 611U, grey in color, three of them were each holding a pistol while the other an AK47 rifle. I ran back into my car and locked the door. It is then that they started hitting my car with gun butts and kicking it with their boots. My two daughters started crying. My wife jumped out, and then they pounced on her, hitting her very hard on the car. She screamed and attracted the attention of the security men at Kenjoy who ran to her rescue,” Tugume told HRNJ-Uganda.
He adds that the gun wielding men introduced themselves as Gen. David Tinyefunza’s bodyguards. Tinyefunza is the national coordinator of security agencies in Uganda.
It is at this point that I reversed and sped off with my family to Kiira Road police at around 11:15PM from where I logged a case of threatening violence.
When contacted by HRNJ-Uganda, Gen. Tinyefunza denied any knowledge of the group who he kept refereeing to as thugs.
“Those are thugs, how can they be my escorts? They are the group that tortures our people. I will hunt for them and have them prosecuted and I will help in all the court battles. Anyone who claims to be my escort should be arrested. It is not the first time people are using my name to wreak havoc in the city. I cannot let this thuggery go on. I am sorry about what happened to Tugume,” Tinyefunza told HRNJ-Uganda.
Tugume came into the limelight last year when he was shot by security men on the right leg on May/12th/2011 during the first phase of walk-to work demonstrations. He is still struggling with his kneel and doctors have recommended that he gets an operation.
“HRNJ-Uganda could not establish the motive of the attackers but cannot rule out foul play as of now since Tugume has people reportedly trailing him for unclear reasons. The organization further condemns this cruel act and all other attacks on journalists and implores police to vigilantly investigate these matters and prosecute the perpetrators without delay to ensure that the victims obtain justice,” said the HRNJ-Uganda Programme Coordinator Wokulira Ssebaggala