Kampala, 07th/12/2010; The Anglican Bishop for Western Buganda Diocese, The Rt. Rev. Kefa Kamya Ssemakula has manhandled and strangled a photo journalist working with Kamunye news paper- a sister Luganda newspaper of the Red Pepper publication. This took place on 6th/Dec/2010, at about 3:00pm.
Brian Luwagga was photographing the Bishop at the Masaka High Court premises were the Bishop had been dragged by the Christian followers in the Diocese led by Mugabi John and Lubega Bowazi opposed to the way the Bishop’s successor Rev. Can. Makumbi Godfrey had been elected. They wanted court to nullify the election.
They however withdrew the case because it had been overtaken by events since the election had been rushed and finished before court could make a judgment. The petitioners are however intending to file another petition blocking Rev. Can. Makumbi Godfrey’s consecration.
Bishop Ssemakula grabbed Luwagga by the collar demanding to know who had given him the permission to take his photos.
“He grabbed me by the collar and pressed my neck hard asking for my permission to photography him. He was joined by the diocese spokesperson, Rev. Enock Muwanguzi. I told them that I was a journalist but would not listen. They demanded that I delete the photos, but I refused”. Narrated Luwagga.
Luwagga said he was rescued by other people opposed to the Bishop’s ways of work, “when they demanded to know what the matter was, the Bishop was scared away and ran to his waiting car and sped off. The scuffle lasted for about 20minutes.
The Diocesan spokesperson, Rev. Muwanguzi defended the Bishop. He told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) that Luwagga did not introduce himself to the Bishop prior to taking the photos.
“The Bishop was angered by this man who kept on photographing him right from the court proceedings and followed him all the way to the courtyard. So he demanded to know who this person was. So it’s not true that he manhandled and strangled him”. Said Muwanguzi
“HRNJ-Uganda is dismayed by the clergymen’s actions against the journalist. We demand that the Arch Bishop of the Church of Uganda, Rt. Rev. Luke Orombi intervenes and prevails over Bishop Ssemakula and Rev. Muwanguzi. The religious leaders are supposed to be the mirrors of the society” There should be a meeting to reconcile these two key members of the society”. Said the HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala
For more information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Kivebulaya Road-Mengo Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Pre. School
P.O.Box. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627
Toll Free Helpline: 0800144155