KAMPALA — The Military Police Unit Disciplinary Committee of the lower court of the Court Martial, has on Thursday February, 18 2021 charged and sentenced seven officers for unleashing violence on journalists.
The Unit Disciplinary Committee presided over by the chairman Lt Col. Gai Mpandwa sentenced the errant officers to between two to three months in military detention.
Those charged and summarily sentenced included
Capt. Jessy Odwenyi, Cpl Nimusiima Justine, Pte Wasswa Peter, Pte Tsame Imran and Pte Kisakye Victoria.
Others are Pte Opiyo Isaac, L/cpl Zirimenya Kassim and Capt Odwenyi who were sentenced to 90 days of detention in Makindye Military barracks,
L/cpl Zirimenya Kassim was also sentenced to 60 days while Cpl Nimusiima Justine was sentenced to severe reprimand and caution while Pte Kisakye Victoria and Pte Opiyo Isaac were sentenced to 62 and 60 days in the military prison respectively.
Lt Col Gai Mpandwa warned the culprits and the entire military police at large to always emulate discipline and professionalism while on any deployment.
The United Nations in Uganda and the international community had already condemned the brutality meted out against journalists and people who had accompanied Robert Kyagulanyi as the NUP president delivered a petitioned to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Kampala.
Several journalists and NUP supporters, some of whom included Members of Parliament, were brutalised by Military Police as they approached the offices in Kololo, Kampala, on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
The UN, in a statement, said this behaviour contravenes the agreement with the Government of Uganda regarding the safety and security of UN premises, personnel and guests as well as national and international commitments.
“The Republic of Uganda is a member of the United Nations and has conveyed in the past its commitment to peace, justice, human rights and development. The UN calls on the Government to immediately investigate this incident and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice,” the UN said.
Addressing the Press at the Ministry of Defence Headquarters in Mbuya, Gen Muhoozi apologized to the media fraternity regarding the incident that happened— saying such actions are regrettable and the UPDF as a professional institution doesn’t condone such acts.
The Chief of Defence Forces promised that the journalists who sustained injuries will be assisted in meeting their medical bills.
He added that going forward, the UPDF will have to incorporate training modules to its soldiers in regard to the treatment and importance of journalists and that they will be a review on the rules of engagement when the forces are carrying out their duties.