HRNJ-UGANDA ALERT, JOURNALIST DRAGS CITY MAYOR NYAKAANA TO COURT OVER ROBBERY AND ASSAULT

Kampala, 18th/June/2012; Court has summoned the Mayor of Kampala’s Central Division Godfrey Nyakaana Amooti over charges of robbery and assault of a Red Pepper journalist Arinaitwe George Fidel.

The summons were issued by the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Mary Khainza for Nyakaana to appear in court on 12th /July/2012 to answer to the two charges.

Prosecution alleges that on February, 23 2011 during local council general elections for Kampala Lord Mayor,  Nyakaana unlawfully used actual violence against one Arinaitwe George Fidel causing him actual bodily harm and also robbed him of his Sony camera worth 400,000shs. In a bid to destroy the photos that Arinaitwe had taken, Nyakaana is alleged to have grabbed the camera from Arinaitwe and destroyed its memory card before punching him several times. Although Nyakaana was not one of the candidates in the elections, he was displeased by Arinaitwe who took photos of the fracas that broke out after people started accusing him of vote stuffing at the Railway ground polling station.

Issuance of the criminal summons against Nyakaana was prompted by the State Prosecutor Nelly Asiku who asked the court to make Nyakaana aware of the criminal charges against him.

At the time of the attack, Nyakaana was overseeing the votes of the ruling party’s (NRM) candidate for the Lord Mayor ship Peter Sematimba. The elections were later cancelled by the Electoral Commission upon discovering that they were marred by wide spread irregularities throughout the district. They were later re-organized and Sematimba lost to Erias Lukwago who is the current lord mayor.

Khainza ordered Nyakaana to appear in court on July 12, 2012 to take plea.

“HRNJ-Uganda welcomes this move. It is a long time since this incident happened in broad day light. This case should serve as a deterrent to leaders in public offices from misusing their authority to break the law. Such acts promote mob justice which should not be condoned. So we call upon the judiciary to expedite the process of the case.”

HRNJ-UG Admin

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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