KAMPALA, UGANDA: the Uganda police says it has launched investigations into circumstances under which up to seven journalists were on Wednesday attacked and badly clobbered by ruthless armed members of the Military Police in Kololo.
The reporters who were covering the delivery of a petition by leaders of the National Unity platform (NUP) party to the offices of United Nations Human Rights Council, were severely beaten by the soldiers.
The soldiers and police had blocked off roads leading to the UN offices on Kololo.
They allowed only three persons led by Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu to access the offices, and dispersed the rest.
In the process, military soldiers armed with guns and batons started running after reporters, beating them randomly along Prince Charles Drive.
Several of the journalists such NTV’s John Cliff Wamala had to be rushed hospital to get emergency treatment.
Others who were injured include Geoffrey Twesigye of NTV, Timothy Murungi of New Vision, Irene Abalo of Daily Monitor, Shamim Nabakooza of Record TV, Joseph Sabiti, Josephine Namakumi and Thomas Kitimbo of NBS TV, Rashida Nakaayi of Galaxy FM among others.
Speaking about the incident, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said an inquiry has been opened at Jinja Road Divisional Headquarters, “to establish the circumstances under which the victims were injured.”
“The findings will inform management on the next course of action,” he said.
Onyango in a statement, blamed the attack on NUP officials who he “disregarded the guidelines and held an illegal procession and assembly involving bodabodas, motor vehicles and supporters walking on foot.”
“Although we respect the rights of citizens to freely assemble and express themselves, the health and safety of all Ugandans and visitors, and rule of law remains our top priority. As a reminder, all unlawful rallies, assemblies and processions are still restricted under the health protocols in place,” he said.