Wakiso, 24th /October/2012; Court in Entebbe has convicted Ddungu Elias for assaulting a Vision Group journalist Rebecca Nakame and occasioning actual bodily harm to her.
While delivering his judgment, the Grade Two Magistrate Bbosa Charles said that the prosecution led by Mbaine Eunice had adduced sufficient evidence to convict the accused. Human Rights for Journalists-Uganda’s Lawyer Diana Nandudu was on watching brief.
“Therefore, considering the evidence on record, the accused was rightly placed at the scene of crime, and prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and I accordingly convict the accused of the offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.”
Prosecution presented four witnesses before court. They included complainant, Rebecca Nakame whose evidence was corroborated by that of Nakaweesi Sumaya –the second witness. The third prosecution witness was Dr. Ojara Santos, a medical doctor who carried out a medical examination on Nakame and Kato Ssempa who was declared a hostile witness and his evidence expunged from the prosecution evidence.
Ddungu was ordered to compensate Nakame with two hundred thousand Uganda shillings (UGshs.200,000/=) for the assault or face imprisonment for twelve months.
Prosecution proved that on 20th/April/2012, at Bweya village, Ssissa sub-county in Wakiso district, Ddungu together with Katongole Issa, 26 and Mutagubya Jamil, 38 assaulted the government-owned television journalist occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to section 236 of The Penal Code Act and destroyed her property –a video camera which they also confiscated. Court ordered for the arrest of Katongole and Mutagubya who are still on the run.
HRNJ-Uganda welcomes this historical judgment and commends court and the State for handling the matter expeditiously. In the same vein, we call upon the police to investigate other cases of violence against the over 200 victim journalists since 2009 and bring the perpetrators to book.