Members of the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) have petitioned the Judicial Service Commission seeking interdiction of Deputy Registrar of High Court in charge of Planning and Development, Fred Waninda who is accused of assaulting journalists while on duty.
In a letter dated 29 April 2019 signed by Mukose Anthony and Kabuye Ronald, the UJA Secretaries of Media Safety and Information, the journalists state that Waninda’s alleged actions are a threat to human rights therefore serious actions must be taken against him.
On Wednesday 24th April 2019, Eric Yiga and Kisakye Hannington of Salt Media and S24 respectively were covering a land grabbing case involving Waninda in Mukono when he attacked them.
He reportedly slapped Kisakye and damaged his camera, a Nikon (D3100) and at the same time tried to strangle Yiga by squeezing his neck.
“Without media even the cherished voice of independence of the judiciary is threatened,” the UJA members stressed, adding that in situations like this, journalists may fear to cover or do their work successfully in a country with people like Waninda.
Judiciary senior communications officer Solomon Muyita confirmed that the Chief Registrar has received these concerns and ordered the Inspectorate of Courts to make investigations in the matter and present findings within one week.