By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Following a couple of regrettable incidents meted on various journalists most especially those covering 2021 opposition presidential candidates, a couple of umbrella organizations of journalists have expressed their grievances towards a section of unprofessional security operatives that have since turned their anger on innocent journalists by targeting, attacking and brutalizing them for exposing the ugly scenes of the protests.
Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda’ – Indoja-U, an organization that brings together online media houses in Uganda, through its press statement claims security operatives have made it a norm to target journalists especially covering opposition presidential candidates Robert Ssentamu Kyagukanyi aka Bobi Wine (NUP) and FDC’s Patrick Oboi Amuriat. Indoja-u president Andrew Irumba Katusabe in a statement revealed that since November 18, starting from Luuka District, security has been targeting journalists.
Read Indoja-U’s Full Statement Below:
“RE: TARGETING OF JOURNALISTS COVERING OPPOSITION PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES BY UGANDA SECURITY PERSONNEL
Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (Indoja-U) has noted, yet again, with great concern, the TARGETED ATTACKS, high handedness and wanton brutality meted on journalists covering the opposition candidates, notably NUP presidential candidate also Kyadondo East MP Ssentamu Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and FDC’s Patrick Oboi Amuriat.
Very worrying also, is the fact that some of the perpetrators of these heinous acts are plain-clothed and hooded. Those in uniforms have also started plucking off their name tags and ranks during these illegal operations, mainly to evade being identified for accountability, because, they must at some point. The security personnel are now INTENTIONALLY targeting journalists who are covering these wanton injustices meted not only on the media but the general public.
Journalists Ashraf Kasirye (Radio One correspondent and Ghetto TV cameraman), Ali Mivule and Daniel Lutaaya of NTV and NBS TV respectively were Sunday 27/12/2020, seriously injured by the security personnel. Ali Mivule, in his own narration, says a whole RPC pointed a gun at him, cocked it and shot at him in the thigh at close range as he said to him; “collateral damage”! To take you back, Ghetto TV is one of Bobi Wine’s affiliate online channels that UCC recently asked Google and Youtube to pull down.
This also takes us back to the ugly scenes of Luuka District recently where the same Ashraf Kasirye, Sam Balikowa of Ghetto TV, among other journalists were violently teargassed and later brutally arrested, reportedly for covering the ugly scenes of the protests, where they also destroyed journalists’ equipments in order to destroy the footage, where more than 50 unarmed civilians lost lives.
indoja-U, an association that brings together online media in Uganda takes this as a serious attack on the freedoms of expression, not only to the media but the general public at large. Security is hereby reminded that journalists shoulder a pivotal role and social contract 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.
On this note, we grief with all the families of those who have since lost their loved ones during this electoral violence, including the late Francis Senteza Kalibala, Bobi Wine’s private security team, who is said to have been overrun by a military police patrol truck No.H4DF2382 today Sunday 27/12/2020 at Busega, a Kampala suburb.
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 of all Ugandans. Andrew Irumba Katusabe
President-Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (indoja-U).”