The Uganda Journalists’ Association, an association of all practicing journalists in the country has condemned Wednesday’s arrest and detention of five people who include journalists who were working on an investigative story.
The detained include BBC journalists and their driver Kasim Muhammad, Godfrey Badebye, Rashid Kaweesi and Shafic Kasiima, as well as Ministry of Health spokesperson Mrs. Vivian Nakaliika Sserwanja who is also a wife to NBS TV’s Solomon Sserwanja; who police say is still at large.
In a press statement issued by Mr Kabuye Ronald, the UJA secretary for information, the Association demands for the unconditional release of those in detention, a Police bond or arraignment before competent courts of law.
“We wholesomely condemn acts of intimidation by security agencies and we encourage strengthening professional working relationship in the fight against graft in the country,” Kabuye added in a statement
Kampala Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango told reporters yesterday that the arrested journalists were buying government classified drugs from Makindye, from the sellers he declined to reveal.
He added that the detained journalists informed police that the reminder of the drugs was being kept at Mr Sserwanja’s house in Mukono, which police raided in the night and searched.
The police say they found 14 boxes of Lumefantine and Hepatitis B vaccines all labeled with government seals.
The media houses for which the suspects work have have since clarified that the reporters were working on an investigative story about corruption and embezzlement in the Ministry of Health and National Drug Authority.
Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Solomon Sserwanja were still unknown by Friday.