By Spy Uganda
Kampala: In Just a few days after the army and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), organized a friendly football match between top army officials and journalists in a bid to mend the sour relationships as a result of several attacks on journalists by soldiers, military police has once again battered journalists and destroyed their gadgets something that has angered the media fraternity once again.
The two journalists are nursing injuries after being battered by military police officers while covering protests by residents of Kayunga on Wednesday over the prolonged power blackout in their area.
The two have been identified as Amon Kayanja from Salt Media and Teddy Nakaliga from Spark/NTV, which are under Nation Media Group.
Amon Kayanja explains that he received a tip from his friend about the protest by residents about the power blackout, which has lasted for two weeks and rushed to report for his media house.
He says, as he was covering the protest, a group of military officers armed with firearms and batons started beating him asking him why he was covering the protest and ordered him to delete the footage from his camera.
Teddy Nakaliga, a journalist with Spark / NTV noted that she was heading to Wakiso district to cover a story on the launch of the human right report when she stumbled in the protesters and decided to cover their story. She, however, says that four military police officer charged at her and started beating her.
Robert Ssempala, the Executive Director of Human Rights Network for Journalist Uganda-HRNJ says that he found the assaulted journalists at Kayunga trading center being helped by good samaritans.
Ssempala says that the habit of military officers beating journalists is continuing despite the pledge by the army leadership to stop the practice. He promised to follow up the matter with the army leadership to ensure the affected journalists get justice.
Sempala’s statements have been backed up by the National Unity Platform’s Secretary-General, David Lewis Rubongoya who noted that the media in Uganda has to decide whether to remain quiet or take a firm stand against the continuing violation of their rights by those who wield guns.
“Today owners of media houses are playing football with the military and tomorrow these journalists are turned into balls and kicked without remorse?” he wondered.
Rubongoya further noted that the trouble is that often times, some people look at this as a NUP’s struggle which is not the case but the struggle is for all the people of Uganda who are living under terrible oppression.