Kampala 18th February 2021-The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has convicted seven villain soldiers of beating and severely injuring scores of journalists while going about their duties and ultimately, sentenced them to imprisonment of between 60-90 days.
The rouge military personnel brutally clobbered journalists on the 17th February 2021 when they were covering a submission of a petition to the United Nations Office of Human Rights in Kololo over gross human rights violations in Uganda by Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the National Unity Platform (NUP) former presidential candidate.
Following widespread condemnation of the brutality by both local and international active human rights defenders and journalists, the Military Police unit disciplinary committee (UDC), the lower court of the Military Court Martial summarily sat to try and convicted their undisciplined officers.
According to a tweet by Brig. General Flavia Byekwaso, the UPDF spokesperson, the convicted officer are; Capt. Jessy Odwenyi, Cpl Nimusiima Justine, Pte Waswa Peter, PPte Tsame Imran, Pte Kisakye Victoria, Pte Opiyos Isaac, and L/Cpl Zirimenya Kassim.
5.Pte Kisakye Victoria— Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso (@UPDFspokespersn) February 18, 2021
6.Pte Opiyo Isaac
7.L/cpl Zirimenya Kassim
This is a deterrent measure to other members of the force not to engage in acts prejudicial to the good order and discipline of UPDF pic.twitter.com/cFoga4aDt9
“UPDF has sentenced 7 of its members after the assault on members of the fourth estate. This is a deterrent measure to offer to other members of the force not to engage in acts of prejudicial to the good order and discipline of UPDF,” Brig. Byekwaso said.
Presided over by its chairperson Lt. Col. Gai Mpandwa, the court gave differing sentences to the officers. Capt. Odwenyi was handed the highest sentence of 90 days at Makindye military barracks, L/cpl Zirimenya Kassim was sentenced to 60 days, while Cpl Nimusiima Justine was sentenced to severe reprimand and caution. Pte, Kisakye Victoria, and Pte Opiyo Isaac were sentenced to 62 and 60 days, respectively.
Earlier in the morning, General David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) addressed a news conference in which he apologized to the media fraternity and the country at-large on behalf of the UPDF pledging an action within 2-days’ time. He said “a package of remorse includes catering for what our errant people have done. The injured will get a package for treatment.
The affected journalists included; John Cliff Wamala of NTV, Irene Abalo of Daily Monitor, Josephine Namakumbi of NBS TV, Timothy Murungi, Henry Ssekanjako of New Vision, Alice Naluzze of BTM and Shamim Nabakooza of Record TV, Sabiti Joseph of NBS TV, among others.