KAMPALA – Police has attributed the brutalising of journalists by Military Police at the UN office in Kampala to overcrowding and breach of security guidelines.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said because Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, brought more of his supporters and officials beyond the recommended number, they had to use force.
“The petitioner was scheduled to appear with three other members due to the anti-covid 19 protocols. He, however, disregarded the guidelines and held an illegal procession and assembly involving boda bodas, motor vehicles and supporters walking on foot,” Mr Onyango said in a statement.
“Although we respect the rights of citizens to freely assemble and express themselves, the health and safety of all Ugandans and visitors, and rule of law remains our top priority. As a reminder, all unlawful rallies, assemblies and processions are still restricted under the health protocols in place. Therefore, due to the acts of overcrowding at the security perimeters near the UN offices, there was a great potential of breaching the security perimeter, which led to additional reinforcement that helped disperse the uncontrolled crowds,” he added.
Mr Onyango said they have opened up an inquiry to investigate the brutality of journalists.
“Unfortunately, a few people sustained injuries including journalists. We have opened an inquiry at Jinja Road Divisional Headquarters, to establish the circumstances under which the victims were injured. The findings will inform management on the next course of action,” he added.
The army only allowed Kyagulanyi accompanied by five party officials to hand over a petition on alleged human rights violations that marred the electoral process, to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) Representative in Uganda, Mr. Robert Kotchani at his office in Kampala.
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.