Journalists who were assaulted by military officers last month have dragged to court the Attorney General and Lt. Colonel Napoleon Namanya – the man accused of commanding the beating. They accuse Lt Colonel Namanya of brutality and violating their freedoms.
The journalists through their lawyer Eron Kizza want the court to compel Lt Colonel Namanya and junior officers to stop actions of brutality against journalists.
The incident happened outside the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) offices in Kololo.
It should be remembered that this incident forced the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to sentence seven errant military police officers for assaulting journalists.
The officers meted brutality against journalists as they covered National Unity Platform (NUP) president, Robert Kyagulanyi who was delivering his human rights violation petition to United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) offices in Kololo, Kampala.
The sentenced officers include; Capt Jessy Odwenyi, Cpl Nimusiima Justine, Pte Wasswa Peter, Pte Tsame Imran, Pte Kisakye Victoria, Pte Opiyo Isaac and L/cpl Zirimenya Kassim.
One officer has been sentenced to severe reprimand, while others have been jailed for 2 – 3 months.
The UPDF Chief of Defense Forces, Gen David Muhoozi apologized to the media fraternity and pledged that the army will clear the medical bills of journalists that were assaulted by their officers.
Addressing the media in Kampala, Gen Muhoozi promised that they were going to take action against the errant UPDF officers.
“That incident is regrettable and I want to extend my apologies to those friends of ours who were assaulted. Joseph Sabiti of NBS, Rashida Nakaayi from Galaxy FM, Timothy Murungi from Vision group, the exercise exhibited was not sanctioned nor were they justified. The UPDF cares and recognizes the importance of the smooth partnership with the media and of course the population.Therefore, we would be the last people to target a journalist or anyone for that matter in an illegitimate way. Appropriate actions will be taken against the identifiable culprits,” he assured the media.