Kampala; Police at Makerere Hill assaulted two NBS journalists Eddie Kisseka and Samalie Kisakye on 1st February 2022. The journalists were covering an operation by police on Boda Boda riders (commercial cyclists) who were working during curfew time.
During an interview with Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, Samalie said, “we were covering an operation by police along Makerere Hill Road at about 8:00 pm on Boda Boda cyclists who were working during curfew time. We met police officers with other plain-clothed men. They were getting money from the boda boda men. Upon realizing that were covering what was happening, a one Kidawalime(police officer) grabbed our camera and started assaulting us. I feel pain in my right arm and the back.”
Samalie’s narrative was corroborated by Eddie Kisekka who also sustained injuries during the scuffle. Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda advised the journalists to open up a case of assault at Wandegeya Police Station.
The Deputy Police Spokesperson Claire Nabakka told HRNJ-Uganda that she regrets the unfortunate incident and promised to follow it up to ensure that the journalists get justice.
In his presidential address on 31st December 2021, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni opened all sectors of the economy save for the boda boda industry. He said the operation of boda bodas is still complicated and therefore the need to restrict their movements since they are a security threat.
“We condemn this act of violence against the journalists who were in the line of duty. The attack violates Article 40(2) of the 1995 Constitution which provides that every person in Uganda has the right to practice his or her profession and to carry on any lawful occupation, trade, or business.
We, therefore, implore the Uganda Police Force to handle the matter professionally and timely so that the journalists get justice.” Said the HRNJ-Uganda Executive Director, Robert Ssempala.