By Sarah Namukisa
ENTEBBE – Journalists in Entebbe have decided to lay down tools in the protest against police and military brutality.
This follows a Wednesday incident where several journalists sustained serious injuries after being clobbered by Military Police as they covered Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, as he delivered his petition to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) offices in Kololo, Kampala.
The most affected were NTV’s Geoffrey Twesigye, Irene Abalo of Daily Monitor, Shamim Nabakooza of Record TV, John Cliff Wamala of NTV and Timothy Murungi of New Vision. Others are Rashida Nakaayi of Galaxy FM, Josephine Namakumbi of NBS, Henry Sekanjako of New Vision, Joseph Sabiti of NBS and Thomas Kitimbo of NBS TV.
Some of the journalists also had their equipment confiscated as the army and police sought to block people who had accompanied Bobi Wine.
Julius Luwemba, a New Vision reporter in Entebbe says they intend not to cover positive stories, however, they will continue covering negative ones.
“We shall only cover the Negative of what they do until when they come back to their senses,” Says Luwemba
The Secretary for Uganda Human Rights Network for Journalists (UHRNJ) Henry Lubulwa says police is targeting specific group of journalists especially those that cover Kyagulanyi.
“The people who missed to be beaten in kalangala on Hon. Kyagulanyi’s campaign trail, are the exact people that were beaten in Kampala, a clear indication to the public that this was a mission not a mistake for those people to be beaten.”
He also called upon all stake holders to come together and have a resolution that have implications that if government continues to violate journalists’ rights, something should be done apart from apologizing every time.
Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, said since Kyagulanyi brought a big number of his supporters than the recommended one, they had to use extra powers to dispass all of them.