Court orders police officer to defend himself over assaulting a TV journalist

Joram Mwesigye the police officer accused of assaulting a journalist inside the court room Photo Credit: Francis Tumwekwasize

Kampala, 18th/November/2016; Buganda Road Court has on 18th November 2016, ordered the former Old Kampala District Police Commander, Joram Mwesigye to defend himself against charges of assaulting a Wavah Broadcasting Services (WBS) TV journalist Andrew Lwanga.

The Presiding Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu ruled that she perused the evidence of  the six (6) prosecution witnesses and found it sufficient to warrant the Assistant Superintendent of Police Mwesigye  to defend himself.

Mwesigye faces three (3) counts including assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two others of malicious damage to property.

Prosecution alleges that on the 12th January, 2015 along Namirembe Road and Bakuli in Kampala, Mwesigye unlawfully assaulted Lwanga and damaged his video camera and that of another Bukedde TV journalist Joseph Ssetimba, both of whom had been assigned to cover a peaceful demonstration of the jobless youths who were marching to present a petition to the Inspector General of Police’s office at Naguru, a Kampala suburb.

Lwanga sustained spinal injuries from the said assault and he is since walking on crutches. He has undergone treatment at various hospitals in the country and abroad. Ssetimba was hospitalized for days as a result of the attack.

Magistrate Kamasanyu ordered that Mwesigye who is out on bail should be ready to give his defence on the 7th/December/2016 when the matter comes up.

Andrew Lwanga (blus shirt) together with Robert Ssempala (HRNJ-Uganda Coordinator) speaking to journalists after the court ruling

This is a big partial victory for me and the media fraternity at large. I am looking forward to the final day of judgment.” Lwanga told chanting journalists at the Buganda Road Court, while Ssetimba said that he had always prayed to this day for the ruling.

We are very happy that Joram has been put to defence. We hope that justice will be done at the end of the trial. The perpetrators of violence against journalists on duty are still a major challenge to the media in Uganda.” Said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala

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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