HRNJ-Uganda alert, Journalist’s camera destroyed as another disappears during a scuffle

 

Kayunga, 08 July 2013; a government official, Florence Nakkonde attacked a Vision Group journalist, Saul Wokulira as he covered news on 06 July 2013. She destroyed his video camera, and confiscated a photo camera -both of which were being used by the journalist. The area police was called to contain the situation.

 Wokulira is the Secretary to the Executive Board of HRNJ-Uganda. He was attacked by Nakkonde –an employee of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning under the Micro-Finance Support Centre in the department of Rural Micro-Finance Support programme, with the help of her three children. The incident happened at Namagabe B village, Kayunga Town Council, in Kayunga district, as he covered events of a scuffle between Nakkonde and her former husband over a family land wrangle.

“She (Nakkonde) first grabbed my video camera from me as I recorded the fight, but returned it after pleading with her. She grabbed it again together with my photo camera arguing that she could not stand to be exposed in such circumstances. I got back the video camera, but it had been already damaged. One of her children, a boy whose names I don’t know, ran away with my photo camera –it had over 260 photographs. I called in the police which contained the situation. The fracas lasted for about 5 minutes.” Wokulira told HRNJ-Uganda.

Nakkonde was detained at Kayunga police station together with two of her children, she was charged with malicious damage to property and theft of a camera, and released on bond the next day.

The Kayunga District CID officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Allan Twishime told HRNJ-Uganda that Nakkonde was remorseful and agreed to compensate the journalist for the loss, and that the journalist agreed to withdraw the matter.

“Such attacks on journalists should be discouraged because they lead to mob justice which may lead to innocent killing of journalists. Backdoor compensations are equally a challenge to the media as they leave the perpetrators of violence against journalist walk scot-free. We implore the journalists to pursue justice to its logical conclusion.” Said HRNJ-Uganda’s National Coordinator, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.

For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) Plot 18, Block 12 Stensera Road Kayanja Triangle Zone
P.O.BOX. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala. Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627
E-mail: news@hrnjuganda.org / humanrajournalists@yahoo.co.uk / Website: http://www.hrnjuganda.org ; BLOG: http://hrnjuganda.blogpost.com

 

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About Human Rights Network For Journalists-Uganda

HRNJ-Uganda was established in 2005 by a group of human rights-minded journalists who developed a sense of activism amidst a deteriorating context due to glaring abuses targeting the media. The network gained formal registration as an independent non-profit and non-partisan media organisation in 2006. The identity of HRNJ-Uganda lies with its diverse membership across the board including the print and electronic media, freelance investigative journalists and individuals from other professions.
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