KAMPALA –Parliament on Tuesday tasked the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda to issue a statement, explaining security agencies’ continued attacks on journalists in various parts of the country.
The move to put government to task, followed Mityana Municipality MP, Francis Zaake’s concern regarding ‘matters of national importance’ – stressing that there were continued attacks on journalists as they went about their duties.
Zaake singled out last week’s attack on NTV Uganda’s Mityana Correspondent, Enock Matovu, who is nursing multiple wounds in hospital after security operatives, reportedly belonging to the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces –UPDF waylaid him as he rode his motorcycle.
According to Matovu, soldiers – who seemingly knew him (because identified him by his name) attacked him as he returned to his home in the company of his daughter. He said soldiers told that he was being punished for his ‘bad work as a journalist.’
Zaake raised the matter in the house saying security has continued to beat journalists despite calls from Parliament to refrain.
He said the Mityana incident follows another, where many journalists who were covering former Presidential candidate and National Unity Platform – NUP leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine as he petitioned the UN Human Rights were roughed-up; and over 20 survived with injuries.
He challenged security agencies to hold the perpetrators to accountable, instead of the usual casual cautions.
Zaake noted that as journalist plan to celebrated the Media Freedom Day, on May 3; the perpetrators will be enjoying their freedom as their victims nurse different injuries.
It was upon the Mityana legislator’s submission that the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga directed the Prime Minister, Rugunda to present a statement on the matter, next Wednesday.
She said Government should also notify to Ugandans if the people who brutalized journalists have been held accountable.
The beating of the journalist comes barely two weeks after the Army top management and media owners played a football game in an attempt to mend the working relationships.
UPDF Deputy Spokesman, Col. Deo Akiiki, who earlier in the week visited NTV correspondent, Matovu at Mityana hospital re-affirmed the army’s commitment to ‘restore’ a cordial working relationship with the media fraternity, pledging that the culprits would be brought to book.
Meanwhile, on the same day, legislators questioned why government had delayed compensating families of the victims of the November 2020 Uganda, who lost their lives at the hands of triggers securities agencies during protests that followed the arrest of Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu in Luuka. Over Ugandans were killed in different parts of the country and President Yoweri Museveni promised a compensation package towards the victims’ families.
Michael Timuzigu Kamugisha – the Kajara county MP tabled the matter on the floor of parliament; prompting Speaker Kadaga to direct government to issue a report on the subject.