By Ronald Kabuye
Ugandan journalists rights bodies have given the army an ultimatum of only 48 hours to arrest and arraign the soldiers who battered journalists while executing their lawful duty as they were covering the free Bobi wine demonstrations in Kampala.
Addressing journalists separate press conferences both Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda HRNJ-U National coordinator Robert Ssempala and Uganda Journalists Association UJA president Robert Kagolo said failure by UPDF to arraign the errant officers before courts of law, meet the medical bills of victims, compensate their gadgets lost and damaged in 48 hours they will mobilize all journalists and the public to stage a national demonstrations in protest of the updf acts.
Furthermore the two bodies intend to call for a total black out by the media of all activities of security forces.
Sempala said that remorse statements issued by the offenders of journalists has become a ritual since its never backed up by action.
Before questioning whether the soldiers who battered journalists were not on drugs.
“It was though these soldiers were on drugs, how can a helpless journalist surrender to you and all what you do is to intensify the beating and than detain” said Sempala.
meanwhile one of the victim Alfred Ochwo of the observer has narrated the torture that he was subjected to including severe beating, pinching him with pliers, damaging his camera, stealing his phone and money before his detention among others.
Others who were beastly tortured and shortly arrested that day include James Akena of the Reuters, Muhumuza julius of dream TV, Juma Kirya, Ronald Galiwango of NTV, Kaweesi Kenneth of NBS among others
It should be noted also ntv’s Herbert Zziwa and Ronald Muwanga were arrested and tortured in Arua municipality a day the by elections while Metro fm’s Samuel Kyambadde was detained after his talk show but later bonded on condition of reporting to police everyday
By Ronald Kabuye