By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: The Uganda High Court in Kampala presided over by Judge Andrew Bashaija has on 23 August dismissed with costs a case filed by Uganda Journalists Association-UJA and two journalists Hannington Kasirye (Smart 24 TV) and Eric Yiga (Salt TV) against former Acting Commercial Court Registrar for Planning, Performance and Development, Fred Waninda.
The duo journalists allegedly accused Waninda of assaulting them and destroying their equipment having beaten at the Commercial Court.
He (Waninda) was defending himself on allegations of forging an agreement with intentions of grabbing land belonging to Charles Mulindwa, a resident of Bugujju in Mukono Municipality.
They asked court to order Waninda to compensate them to a tune of 150 million shillings each.
However In the judgment delivered by the Registrar Sarah Langa, Bashaija dismissed the case on grounds that there was no sufficient evidence.
He based his decision on the evidence of one Okello Walter, a police officer from the Commercial Court police post who in his affidavit said that none of the applicants shown them the damaged camera or an injury which caused by the registrar.
“This court sounds a warning to the lawyers and all the parties to desist from the habit of throwing all sorts of cases in courts of law, just for sake or for gaining publicity,” the Judge warned before awarding costs to the registrar.
Speaking to press after the ruling, Counsel Eron Kiiya who was representing the journalists said they will immediately appeal against this ruling which he termed as unfair.
In his part, Arnold Idukose, the Secretary for media safety Human rights at UWA described the Judgement as a “blank cheque to other people to assault to Journalist.”