Kampala, 02nd/July/2012; Police have compensated two video cameras of a WBS Television journalist who pitch camped at their headquarters in Kampala last week. However the implicated officers were let scot free by the force’s leadership.
William Ntege aka Kyuumakyayeesu, with a medical drip on his hand, camped at the police headquarters along parliamentary avenue with a placard demanding that the police Chief Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura compensates the cameras reportedly shattered by the police as he covered news stories.
He received a call from the Deputy Police Spokesperson Judith Nabakooba over the weekend who later handed him them money.
“The Deputy Police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba rang me on Saturday June 30th asking for how much the two cameras would cost me, it appeared like a casual chat but she later called me back to pick the money for which I used to purchase one of the cameras. This was one step forward, now I want prosecution of the officers who assaulted and damaged my cameras.” Ntege told HRNJ-Uganda Monday morning.
Citing failure by the police chief to honor an earlier promise to replace the cameras, Ntege camped at the police headquarters with the two damaged cameras. “I am here for my two cameras that were destroyed by the Ugandan police. Tuli bakoowu (We are fed up)” read a placard he kept flashing a the passing senior police officers and the public which was taken away by the police moments before he was driven away to the Central Police Station (CPS) in Kampala for negotiations.
The police applied force to remove the journalist in an incident which saw the officer in charge of security one Mutabazi hit down his medical drip prompting blood flow from the hand.
Ntege’s camera was damaged during the 2011 Kampala Mayoral campaigns at Nakulabye when a group of policemen from Old Kampala police station led by the then DPC Siraje Bakaleke attacked him. They arrested and detained him for a night for allegedly blocking traffic. He accuses the police of making away with his Shs100, 000/= UG X. He reported a case of assault, malicious damage and theft of property.
Ntege lost his other camera worthy million Shs4.5/= UG X when the DPC of CPS Kampala James Ruhweza reportedly pulled him down off a police patrol car as he covered the events of police battling FDC leader Kizza Besigye who went down town to St. Balikuddembe popularly known as Owino for lunch two months ago.
“HRNJ-Uganda condemns this approach by the police to use the tax payers’ money to compensate victims of the force’s brutality against journalists yet taking no action against the implicated officers. We are reliably informed that these two incidents were not investigated by the police, and as such no action was taken. This is therefore another way of covering up for errant police officers in the force. It promotes impunity and puts the work of journalists in a more dangerous situation at the hands of the same officers who remain occupying their offices and manning police operations. We would like the police to investigate these and other cases of attacks and take punitive actions” Said the HRNJ-Uganda Programme Coordinator Wokulira Ssebaggala.