Mukono, 15th/Sept/2010; A news anchor with Prime radio Dickson Ssentongo has been hit with a metal bar to death.
Ssentongo, 29, has been a resident of Nantabulirirwa village, Ggoma subcounty, Mukono district in Central region of Uganda where he has been staying with his parents.
He was waylaid by unidentified metal bar welding men at Nantabulirirwa village who reportedly hit him at 5:00Am. He was on his way to the radio on foot to catch a taxi on the main road. They dragged him about 100 meters away from the scene of crime where they left him lying unconscious in a pool of blood.
Ssentongo joined the Kireka based Seventh Day Adventist church owned Prime radio two years ago as a luganda (local language) news anchor. He has also been a court assessor for the Mukono High Court circuit.
At the time of his death, Ssentongo had joined active politics and was an aspiring councilor for Nantabulirirwa Parish at Ggoma subcounty on the ticket of the Democratic Party, an opposition political party in Uganda.
The deceased’s employer at Prime Radio, Katongole Kiwanuka, the station’s chief news editor told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) that Ssentongo was found by a local farmer at in a potato garden lying in a pool of blood around 9:00Am local time, and when she tried to help him he managed to speak only one word “Prime” before he went unconscious.
He was rushed to Mukono health centre 1V but could not get any treatment. He was later rushed to Mulago national referral hospital from where he died about twelve hours later before he could get treatment because his people lacked the ten hundred thousand shillings asked by the hospital authorities.
Ssentongo’s death comes just three days after motorcyclists in Rakai district mobbed up a Top radio reporter, Paul Kiggundu to death while he was on duty.
The District Police Commander (DPC) of Mukono, ASP Musoni Alphonse said he had dispatched a team of police investigators to establish the facts and make arrests.
“Such cases are not common in the area but in the few cases of it, the metal bar men target earlyrisers. They first establish their movement patterns”, Said Musoni.
HRNJ-Uganda sends its heart most condolences to the family of the deceased. “It is a very sad moment in the lifeline of the media in Uganda. We call upon all media houses to prioritize the safety of their employees, because its odd that the deceased was moving on foot alone at such a dangerous time”, Said the HRNJ-Uganda board chairman Robert Ssempala.
We call upon police to do work tirelessly and bring the culprits to book.
May his soul rest in peace
For more information contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Kivebulaya Road, Mengo- Bulange, Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Preparatory School
Tel: +256-414-667627 / +256-701-810079