Uganda today joins the rest of the world to commemorate the world press freedom day. This comes at a time when journalists face unprecedented brutality from the security forces who frustrate their work. The day is to be marked with a prayer service at Rubaga Cathedral at 14:00hrs.
SEE ALSO: Just in: Journalist shot dead by LDU
Andrew Lwanga, a former WBS journal was on January 12, 2015 brutally beaten by former Old Kampala DPC, Joram Mwesigye. Six years later even when the Buganda road court magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu ruled that he gets compensated with UGX 5 million, he has rather received threats. “I have survived multiple assassination attempts by security,” Lwanga says. “I incurred over $50,000 just to cover my medication. I’m still crippled todate and I survive on hand outs from the HRNJ,” he adds.
Akena, a photojournalist with Reuters news agency met his ill fate in 2018 as he captured the Free bobi Wine protests in Kampala. Akena was mercilessly attacked by military officers who thumped him to pulp even when he distinguished himself as a journalist. The brutality persisted on and was noticeable in the presidential campaign trail of Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert aka Bobi Wine. Journalists became targets on security forces who kept on unleashing terror on them. Ashraf Kasirye, a Ghetto TV journalist survived an assassination attempt by the Masaka RPC Abaine Enock who todate remains a free man despite inflicting harm on the young pressman. Josephine Namakumbi (NBS), John Cliff Wamala (NTV) were thumped just a few weels back in Kololo as they covered Bobi Wine who was petitioning the UN Human rights Commission to act on the rights abuses. Not more than three days back, Robert Kagoro, a radio journalist was shot dead by a trigger happy LDU officer in Wakiso.
The IGP Martin Okoth Ochola supports the reckless conduct of security on media. “It is media targeting security,” he said when asked to act. “We shall beat you to save you from danger,” he added.