Wakiso, 20th/June/2012; A Court in Entebe has issued arrest warrant for attackers of a Vision Group journalist Rebecca Nakame. The Grade II Court Chief Magistrate Nassi Molo ordered for the arrest of Katongole Issa, 26 and Mutagubya Jamil 38 after failing heed to criminal summons against them to appear in court to face trial. The two are jointly accused with Ddungu Erias and other still at large of assaulting the Bukedde Television journalist.
Prosecution alleges that on 20th/April/2012, the trio with others still at large, at Bweya village, Ssissa sub-county in Wakiso district assaulted Nakame occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to section 236 of The Penal Code Act and destroyed her property.Nakame was attacked by a mob on the orders of one Hakaya Luswa a special police constable attached to Kajjansi police station. She had been invited to cover a news story about a family land wrangle, but was attacked by some family members before she started filming the story. Her camera was damaged and confiscated.
Nakame told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) that she was kicked, slapped, pushed and pulled by the hair as she pleaded for mercy before saved by a local council official. She sustained bruises and severe back pain.The case was adjourned to 11th July 2012 when all the suspects are supposed to appear.
“The trial of the alleged attackers is a timely intervention and we commend the state for handling the matter in an expeditious way. Many attackers of journalists have for a long time enjoyed a lot of impunity, but with this case, there is hope that it will help reduce on the attacks to journalists in Uganda.” Said HRNJ-Uganda Programme Coordinator, Wokulira Ssebaggala.