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Ruling party former Parliamentary contestant charged with assault and malicious damage to property of a journalist (Demo)

Masaka, 17th /December/2015; Court in Masaka, on 14th /December/2015 charged a former ruling National Resistance Movement party flag bearer contestant for Lwengo, Eddie Ssansa, with assault and malicious damage to property of a Daily Monitor journalist Shamim Jjingo Nakawooya.

Ssansa denied the charges before Grade 1 Magistrate of Masaka Chief Magistrates Court, Nabukeera Aisha. He was granted cash bail of two million shillings (Approximately USD600).

The police officer in charge of the case, Henry Mandela told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda that Ssansa earlier on jumped bond before he was arrested and produced to court, “The suspect was supposed to appear at police on 4th December 2015, but he jumped bond on ground on he was sick. I pressurized him until he reported to Masaka Central Police Station on 14th December 2015 and I immediately produced him in court.”

Prosecution led by Moureen Tumusiime alleges that on 28th October, 2015, Shamim Jjingo Nakawooya, a Daily Monitor-Masaka based correspondent, was assaulted by Eddie Ssansa, who lost in the ruling primaries.

Shamim says that she was slapped on the cheeks, boxed in the chest and her breasts fondled by Ssansa who also smashed her smart phone which she was using to record the interview. She adds that Ssansa further threatened to run over her with his car if he ever met her on the way. This was after Shamim asked Ssansa, what he termed “embarrassing question” as to whether he had debts, during an interview with journalists at the Masaka regional police headquarters.

The case was adjourned to 22nd January 2016 when hearing is expected to commence.

We commend the police for swiftly investigating the matter and ensuring that the suspect was taken to court. Most perpetrators of violence against journalists especially those with political weights have for a long time enjoyed a lot of impunity. We hope that Shamim and the entire media fraternity will get justice at the end of the day. Said Robert Ssempala, the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator.

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