Ugandan Journalist attacked by police now released from hospital

February 3, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Robert Ssewankambo

A Wavah Broadcasting Service (WBS) Television journalist, Andrew Lwanga, who was violently assaulted by the suspended Division Police Commander (DPC) of Old Kampala Police Station, Joram Mwesigye, has been discharged from St. Francis Hospital Nsambya where he was admitted two weeks ago in critical condition.

Much as the police had committed to paying his medical bills, Lwanga had to spend two more nights without receiving their financial assistance, prompting Lwanga’s family to clear the bill of approximately UGX 1,500,000 (USD 600). Apart from the two police spokespersons, Patrick Onyango and Fred Enanga, the leadership of the Ugandan police force shunned visiting the patient at hospital. This provoked angry reactions from the journalists and other human rights defenders who continued to congregate at the hospital.

At the time of his discharge, Lwanga looked weak and could not walk by himself, relying on the support of crutches. He is still under continuous treatment and according to doctors, may soon undergo surgery.

Lwanga was first admitted to the Mulago National Referral hospital, before being rushed to Nsambya when he collapsed at the Central Police Station in Kampala. Another victim of assault, Joseph Ssetimba of Bukedde TV was also hospitalised with severe chest pain, constant headache and breathing difficulties. He was discharged after two days. The police in this instance did not meet his medical bills.

On 12thJanuary 2015, Mwesigye with the aid of other police officers from Old Kampala Police station, went on a rampage and assaulted journalists who were covering a peaceful demonstration by a group of unemployed youths marching to the police headquarters at Naguru, a suburb of Kampala to petition the Inspector General of Police. Journalists slapped a media blackout on the police and marched to the police headquarters in protest against the brutality.

Mwesigye was suspended, charged with assault and malicious damage to property; he was released on bail as the trial continues.

 

 

Linked articles in Tuck Magazine
14th January 2015 http://tuckmagazine.com/2015/01/14/senior-police-officer-assaults-two-journalists-uganda/

16th January 2015 http://tuckmagazine.com/2015/01/16/journalists-uganda-protest-police-brutality/

 

 

 

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Robert Ssewankambo

Robert Ssewankambo is a Ugandan writer. Working currently on a freelance basis, he is a regular contributor to major newspapers in Uganda and electronic online magazines and media sources in Africa, such as the Bukedde newspaper, Hindered radio, Red Pepper, Eddobozzi newspaper and African Interest online.

For media enquiries, contact Robert at the following email address: sewankamborobert@gmail.com

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