Court sets judgment date for a case against a senior police officer, as a private guard destroys a journalist’s gadget

Joram Mwesigye standing in the dock during the court hearing at Buganda Road Magistrates Court Photo Credit: Emmanuel Magambo

Kampala, 25th/ January /2017; Buganda Road Magistrates Court has set the 10th March 2017 to deliver its judgment in a case against a senior police officer, Joram Mwesigye –the former DPC of Old Kampala Police Station, who is accused of assaulting a WBS Television journalist Andrew Lwanga.

This was after the defence closed the case on 23th January 2017 and told court presided over by the Chief Magistrate Grace Kamasanyu that they did not have more witnesses after producing two; a police officer and a commercial motorcyclist.

Prosecution led by Patricia Chingtho alleges that on 12th Jan, 2015, Joram assaulted journalists Andrew Lwanga and Bukedde TV’s Joseph Ssetimba along Namirembe Road while they were covering a demonstration by the unemployed Youth, occasioning bodily harm and maliciously damging their material.

Meanwhile, a private security guard (kanyama) is wanted for destroying a tripod stand belonging to a Bukedde Television journalist, Sulaiman Mutebi on 20th January 2017, at Qualicel Bus terminal in Kampala.

Mutebi told HRNJ-Uganda that a private guard at Qualicel Bus terminal a one Mayanja, attacked him and damaged his camera as he recorded a story about the ruling party achievements in the transport sector for the past thirty one (31) years.

I met the manager of YY Coaches who was very busy and referred me to the customer adviser a one Ntege. I explained to him and he allowed me to cover the bus, but as I placed the camera in front of the YY Coaches bus, the Manager of Qualicel asked me why I was covering the bus. As I was still explaining, she called a “kanyama” -a one Mayanja who pulled the camera and the tripod broke”. Mutebi told HRNJ-Uganda.

Mutebi opened up a case of malicious damage to property at Qualicel Police Post vide SD Ref: 16/20/01/2017.

The DPC Central Police Station, Joseph Bakaleke Gwaido told HRNJ-Uganda that he had ordered for the arrest of the manager Qualicel Bus terminal and the said “guard” as the matter was being investigated.

We are extremely concerned by such actions of the ‘guard’ who take the law into their hands, especially against journalists on duty. We call upon the police to take the appropriate measures against the implicated guard. The public should respect the rights of journalists to do their work safely.” said Robert Ssempala the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator

HRNJ-UG Admin

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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