HRNJ-Uganda alert, District Police Commander testifies against a journalist

DPC-wandegeyaKampala, 12th November 2014; Hearing of a case in which a journalist, Mulindwa Mukasa is accused of obstructing Julius Ceaser Tusingwire the District Police Commander, Wandegeya Police station while on duty commenced today at the Law Development Centre Court in Kampala before Grade 1 Magistrate Jolly Nkore Shwanda.

Testifying against Mulindwa, Tusingwire said while in his office on 26th November 2013 at around 3:00 pm he heard commotion at the police counter which forced him to come and see what was happening. “When I moved out of my office, I found three people fighting police officers at the counter. At that time they were taking Kamagu, a journalist we had arrested. They were saying a lot of words and wanted to exceed the counter to go the sensitive areas like the armory,” Tusingwiire said adding that he ordered for the arrest of these people and two of them disappeared. He said Mulindwa remained defiant and “continued shouting attempting to grab Kamagu from the police officers and I ordered for his arrest.”

When asked by HRNJ-Uganda’s legal officer Catherine Anite, whether Mulindwa obstructed him, Tusingwire said Mulindwa did not obstruct him. He said; I was obstructed because I am the commander and my obstruction does not have to be physical.”

The case was adjourned to 27th November 2014 for more prosecution witnesses. Tusingwiire is the principal prosecution witness.

Prosecution led by Aisha Batala Naluzze alleges that Mulindwa who is also the HRNJ-U Board Chairperson on 26th November 2013, willfully obstructed the DPC Wandegeya Police Station from carrying out his lawful duties. Mulindwa and other journalists had gone to Police to find out the reasons that had led to arrest and detention of a fellow journalist Richard Kasule alias Kamagu a radio presenter at Top Radio.

This is a trumped up charge against Mulindwa. The court should expeditiously hear it so that justice is done,” said the HRNJ-Uganda National coordinator Robert Ssempala.

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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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