By Peter Ssebulime
There was chaos in Kampala Central Business on Monday morning as police battled journalists who were taking a petition to the Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola, at the police headquarters in Naguru.
The journalists were taking their petition against the continued brutality and violence meted unto them by the police and military during the course of their duties.
The scribes started by meeting at two points; Railway Grounds and Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) grounds but their gatherings were dispersed by the police who arrested many of the journalists and detained them at CPS.
However, the journalists who were waving placards containing messages calling for the prosecution of errant officers, stormed CPS and staged a peaceful demonstration until those who had been arrested, among them Kazibwe Bashir, the president of the Uganda Journalists Association, were released on orders of DPC Moses Kafeero.
Shortly after release, the journalists were allowed continue to Naguru.
However, by time they reached Naguru there was heavy police deployment and cops started firing teargas at the journalists immediately after seeing them.
Although many of the journalists ran away, the brave ones managed to convince the cops at the gate to let them through such that they can deliver their petition to the IGP.
By the time of filing this story at least ten journalists including Hajji Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira, Robert Ssempala, Abu Lubowa among others had managed to access the police headquarters in Naguru, ready to deliver their petition to the IGP’s office.
The development however comes at the onset of continued acts of violence against journalists being perpetrated by police and military across the country.
The violence became more manifested during last week’s protests against the 15% tuition increment staged by Makerere University students, during which security forces brutalised and maimed several journalists as they reported about events at the University.
Following the violence, several organisations, individuals, the US Embassy in Uganda, the European Union, the United Nations, Nongovernmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations vehemently condemned the violence against journalists and students by security forces.