Mukono, 22nd/May/2012; The police in Mukono have started investigating into the attack of four Mukono district based journalists by summoning and quizzing Pastor Samuel Landasa of Mount Lebanon Church from whose church a group of youths emerged and beat up journalists on Sunday 20th and confiscated their tools of work.
A group of about 10 led by one Shem Ssemanda attacked Kalumba Ronald of WBS television, Paddy Nsobya of Bukedde Newspaper (Vision Group of Companies), Makumbi Joseph of the Red Pepper and Bbuule Moses Kizito of Bukedde radio as they followed up a news story.
The journalists had gone to get the pastor’s side of the story about allegations that he had banished some critical members from his church who were accusing him of illegally conducting church marriages and changing the church land title into his name. Those banned were later arrested by police. It is this story that the journalists were following up on.
During a fact finding mission to Mukono, the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) team led by Lawyer Catherine Anite and Robert Ssempala established that the matter was being expeditiously handled by the police. A team of journalists in the area including the assault victims met with the District Police Commander Seiko Chemonges, the OC CID Henry Mugumya and OC Station Mwaule among others at the police station in Mukono.
Chemonges reassured the team that all the perpetrators would be brought to book. “Those people who beat up journalists must be brought to justice at an appropriate time, whoever they are. Am ready to ensure journalists’ safety in Mukono, to even give them security when covering contentious scenes.” said Chemonges.
“HRNJ-Uganda commends the expeditious manner in which the police have handled the matter and the assurance given to journalists while on duty in Mukono. We implore the police in other areas to emulate this exemplary action by the Mukono DPC. We are also following up the matter to ensure that it is handled in a more transparent way. We want the perpetrators to face the law and also compensate the journalists if it is established that their gadgets were damaged” said HRNJ-Uganda lawyer Catherine Anite.