Police Tops Last Year’s Journalists’ Rights Abusers

FDC Presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has promised an in-depth investigation into circumstances under which Dr Lutakome Kayiira was brutally murdered by gunmen in March 1987.

Kayiira was the Leader of the Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM), treat a guerrilla organization that fought the governments of Milton Obote and Tito Okello between 1980 and 1986.

Kayiira and the UFM were often seen as a rival to the National Resistance Movement led by Yoweri Museveni which was also fighting a guerrilla war against the Obote and Okello governments.

When the National Resistance Movement took power in 1986, ed Andrew Kayiira was appointed Minister for Energy by Yoweri Museveni.

Later that year Kayiira was arrested for treason but later released.

He was murdered by unknown gunmen on 9 March 1987.

Kayiira’s death remains mysterious to date considering that the British police investigation report has never been released to the public.

Visiting the resting place of Kayiira in Masulita – Wakiso district on Wednesday, Besigye said once elected president he will commission an inquiry into the murder.


Flanked by top party leaders and family members of the deceased, Besigye laid a wreath on Kayiira’s tomb.

“Remembering and honouring departed freedom fighters at a time we are trying to dislodge the dictatorship in Uganda will give new impetus to the struggle,” said Besigye.

Besigye later held campaigns in the area where he urged people to use their vote to remove President Museveni from power.
A Journalists’ rights body Human Rights Network for Journalists- Uganda (HRNJ) has expressed concern over the increasingly unwarranted interference with their work by government bodies.

The journalists yesterday highlighted assaults and other forms of persecution that they have suffered at the hands of Police, pill Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and politicians majorly from the ruling party as listed by HRNJ National Coordinator, buy more about Robert Ssempala during a press conference at Hotel Triangle in Kampala.

Ssempala revealed that between October 2015 and January 2016, click HRNHJ-Uganda has documented 40 election-related incidents in which journalists have been shot at, their gadgets damaged, detained and released without charge and blocked from accessing News scenes.

“Of all the occurrences, Police are responsible for 28 of them majorly of which are assault and malicious damage to property. In some cases, politicians from the ruling party have beaten journalists during campaigns, damaging their gadgets and police has looked on even where cases have been reported,” Ssempala said.

Ssempala noted that Kampala witnessed the majority incidents with 14, followed by Gulu with 7, Moroto with 4, Lwengo with 3 while other incidents have happened in Jinja, Mityana, Kibaale, Nebbi, Kalangala and Arua.

“The attacks on the journalists are intended to suffocate journalists’ rights, freedom of expression and media rights that are provided for in the Constitution of Republic of Uganda,” he said.

“HRNJ-Uganda has also learnt that journalists particularly those hosting political talk shows and their producers are under pressures from their supervisors not to give platform to members of Parliament and individuals with views divergent from government’s.”

“It is now becoming criminal to host or provide a platform to those considered anti, rebel or indiscipline politicians.”

Ssempala appealed to government not to abdicate its responsibility of ensuring free flow of information, ideas and opinions during this period of elections by turning a blind eye as journalists are harassed, intimidated and physically attacked by police and politicians together with their supporters.

He also recommended that police investigates and takes to court the perpetrators of violence against media practitioners.


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