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In big trouble! Journalists slap UGX. 150m on head of Commercial Court Registrar after taking him to court over assault

High Court building in Kampala. Registrar in charge of planning and development Fred Wanida sued. (PHOTO/FILE)

KAMPALA – The High court in Kampala has been petitioned for orders to compel its registrar in charge of planning and development Fred Wanida to pay over 150 million shillings as damages for the physical injuries he inflicted on two journalists as they went about their duties.

The two journalists; Hanington Kisakye and Fred Yiga together with the journalist’s umbrella organisation Uganda Journalist Association (UJA) accuse Wanida of failing to uphold their fundamental rights to practice their profession and from inhumane and degrading treatment.

The two journalists contend that on April 24, 2019, at the Commercial Court in Kampala while covering proceedings in case where a family from Kawuga in Mukono district is accusing Wanida of allegedly grabbing their 13 acres of land, the registrar lost his cool manhandled him, grabbed and destroyed the video cameras that they were using.

The journalists and UJA are seeking for orders that  Waninda’s actions that include verbally and physically assaulting and threating to harm them as well as breaking their cameras while executing their journalistic duties infringed on their rights and freedoms protected.

Through their lawyers, the journalists are also seeking for a declaration that Waninda’s impugned conduct fell short of his obligation to respect, uphold, protect and promote their fundamental human rights which amounted to an abuse of power.

The duo is also seeking an order awarding them special damages equivalent to the cost of the camera NIKON D3100 that was destroyed by Waninda.

They also want court to order Waninda to pay them Shs100million for the physical and psychological torture, stress, inhumane, humiliation among other human rights violations perpetrated against them and aggravated damages of Shs50million for the oppressive, callous and cold-hearted treatment and indifference that he exhibited towards them.

After the said incident a video clip went viral on social media showing Wanida assaulting the two journalists as the filmed him at the Commercial court premises.

The judiciary has also since instituted an investigation into the alleged assault case.

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