Kampala, 25th/February/2015; A Wavah Broadcasting Services (WBS) Television journalist, Andrew Lwanga broke down in tears as he testified against Joram Mwesigye the former Division Police Commander of Old Kampala Police Station who he accuses of brutally assaulting him while covering a procession by a group of unemployed youth in Kampala.
Lwanga, who is currently walking on clutches told court presided over by Grade One Magistrate, Sanyu Mukasa, that on 12th January 2015, while using a big stick, Mwesigye hit him three times on the left hand, chest and left side of his head, which made him dizzy and collapsed on the ground. His camera was also destroyed.
“He first hit me on the palm of the left hand, I tried to hold on to the stick in self-defense, but I failed. He hit me the second time and I fronted my camera; the stick smashed the camera and got me on the chest as well. On the third time, he hit me on the head near the left ear. It is then that I collapsed on the ground, I was dizzy. I spent some time on the ground….” Lwanga told a fully packed court.
Lwanga further testified that he was dragged into a private white saloon car Registration Number UAT 150L, and driven to Old Kampala Police Station, from where he was ordered to remove his belt and shoes to enter the cells, but was rescued by the Former Kampala South Metropolitan Police Commander, James Ruhweza, who used a police patrol car and rushed him to Mulago National Referral Hospital where he was admitted in critical condition. He was thereafter transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Nsambya after he became weak and unconscious a few hours after he had been discharged from Mulago. He is likely to undergo surgery on the back bone owing to a dislocation of his spine cord.
Court dismissed an application by Mwesigye through his lawyer Gorge Spencer against allowing other journalists from testifying against him in this case. The matter was adjourned to 30th March 2015 for further hearing.
Meanwhile, hearing of a case at the Law Development Center Court in Kampala, in which the former Executive Board Chairperson of HRNJ-Uganda, Mulindwa Mukasa is accused of obstructing the former Division Police Commander of Wandegeya Police Station, Julius Caesar Tusingwire did not take off due to failure by the State to produce witnesses in court. Two witnesses have so far testified in this case. The matter was adjourned to 25th March for further hearing.
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
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