By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: The umbrella organization of online journalists in Uganda dubbed Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (indoja-U) has called upon chief of Defense forces (CDF) Gen.David Muhoozi to give full accountability on actions being taken by his leadership against his errant officers who have made it a habit to clobber journalists to pulp.
This has been communicated via a carefully written statement seen by this website penned down by the Indoja-U and CEO TheSpy Uganda, Andrew Irumba Katusabe, expressed concern over the same, wondering why the security officers have developed so much apetite in clobbering helpless journalists.
Police’s IGP Okoth Ochola recently promised journalists that they were going to be clobbered in order to ‘pump’ sense in their heads and stop going where there is danger.
Read President’s Notice Below;
“RE: CONTINUED TARGETING OF JOURNALISTS COVERING IN UGANDA BY STATE SECURITY PERSONNEL
Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (indoja-U) has noted, yet again, with great concern, the continued TARGETED ATTACKS, high handedness and wanton brutality meted on journalists while on their lawful duties.
On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, several journalists working for various media houses were brutally beaten and badly injured by military police while covering National Unity Platform (NUP) and former presidential candidate, also Kyadondo East MP Ssentamu Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine as he presented a petition to the UN Human Rights Office in Kololo, Kampala.
Among those badly injured are; John Cliff Wamala (NTV), Geoffrey Twesigye and Irene Abalo of Nation Media Group, Shamim Nabakooza (Record TV), Henry Ssekanjako, Timothy Murungi (New Vision), Rashida Nakaayi (Galaxy FM), Josephine Namakumbi, Joseph Sabit (NBS TV) and Thomas Kitimbo (NBS TV). Also badly beaten were some of Kyagulanyi’s party members and supporters who had accompanied him
We also noted that security confiscated some equipment from targeted journalists while others were simply maliciously damaged with intent to destroy evidence of brutality
We welcome the latest timely intervention by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen. David Muhoozi who promised to investigate and punish all yesterday’s individual security personnel that carried out the heinous acts, which put Uganda in bad light Internationally and continue to reverse all the tourism sector efforts and successes. We still have faith in the leadership of the well-deserved CDF that he will indeed act on his errant officers and give us full accountability on the same as this will give us guidance on our next action. We have no doubt in his integrity and capabilities in keeping his word
indoja-U, an association that brings together online media in Uganda takes these as serious attacks on the press freedom and freedom of expression, not only against the media but the general public at large. We appeal to all security agencies in Uganda to restrain themselves from acts that violet the Rights and Freedoms of not only the press but all Ugandans.
Security is hereby reminded that journalists world over the shoulder a pivotal and social contract role with the public, to collect, filter and feed them with information to enable them to make informed choices, because we all know, that an informed society is an empowered society.
We grief with all the affected persons and wish them a quick recovery
Andrew Irumba Katusabe
President; Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (indoja-U)”