Kampala, 09th/Nov/2010; A Radio Simba journalist, Arafat Nzito has gone missing and his whereabouts remain unknown since 3rd/Nov/2010.
Nzito, 23years, was picked by plain clothed men in a private registration Toyota double cabin on 3rd/Nov/2010 at around 2:00pm local time from Radio Simba.
He is a resident of Kitintale, in Nakawa division, in Kampala –Uganda’s capital city.
Radio Simba’s chief news editor, Emmanuel Okello told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda(HRNJ-Uganda) that Nzito’s disappearance followed him receiving numerous phone calls to go and see meet some people in the radio’s parking yard-about 30meters away.
So he left his work half done and went to meet those people but he never returned to complete filing his news story. He did not return the following day as well.
According to an eye witness who declined to be named, Nzito was whisked away by four men in a vehicle with tinted screens at around 2:30pm. He first talked to them before he sat in the back seat in between two men. He did not notice the car registration number.
Nzito joined Simba last year as an intern student, and upon completion of his internship, he was enrolled as a reporter but on probation for two months now.
He regularly reports news from the police and the opposition Forum for Democratic Change which is the leading opposition political party in Uganda.
“He did not return to office to complete the story, so I called his cell phone but was not picking up. He did not report the next day, so I called again to no response. When I called again in the afternoon, the phone had been switched off”. Said Radio Simba Chief News Editor Emmanuel Okello
Nzito’s sister, Hadijah Nantambi has told HRNJ-Uganda that she noticed his absence on 5th/Nov/2010 yet his cell phone was off.
“When his phone remained off all through the night, I reported the matter to police and searched at various police stations and the Rapid Response Unit (RRU)- a serious crime crack down unit, but could not find him. We are very scared for his life, we need help”. Said Nantambi
The commandant of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), James Mugira was surprised when HRNJ-Uganda contacted him over the matter.
“It’s news to me, but I am dispatching a team to investigate the younger man’s disappearance”. Mugira said.
“We are greatly concerned about such incidents; these threats are real at a time when politics is at its peak in Uganda ahead of the general elections early next year. Justice should prevail all the time, so Nzito’s captors should subject him to the courts of law if they suspect him of any crime”. Said HRNJ-Uganda Board Chairman Robert Ssempala
For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Kivebulaya Road Mengo-Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Preparatory School
P.O.Box.71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-272934 /+256-414-667627
Toll Free Helpline; 0800144155