Mbale 18th/Feb/2011; A WBS TV journalist based in Mbale district Gerald Mutembu has been beaten up by a mob allegedly supporting the state minister for Housing Michael Werikhe.
Wavah Broadcasting Service (WBS) television is a privately owned media house based in Uganda’s capital, Kampala
Mutembu who received information about the electoral malpractices rushed to Khamoto trading centre in Bungokho Sub County, Mbale district to ascertain the situation.
“At about 1pm on 18th/Feb/2011, I arrived at the news scene and found groups fighting over the alleged bribery and intimidation of voters by supporters of Werikhe and security operatives clad in civilian clothes” said Mutembu
He said he embarked on filming of the scuffle at the trading center but to his surprise a mob turned against him by grabbing him by the collar, tried to confiscate his camera and during the resistance process, Mutembu was boxed and shuttered his lips leading to bleeding.
“I pleaded with the mob that am only a journalist executing my professional obligations but the beatings continued for over 20minutes,” Mutembu narrated.
Mutembu said he was later rescued by a group of sympathers who whisked him away into a private vehicle. Mutembu then reported the matter to Mbale police station where he recorded a statement and went to hospital where he was diagnosed and got treatment.
Mutembu has therefore told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda that he is waiting to take the matter to court because he has evidence to pursue justice.
HRNJ-Uganda condemns in the strongest term possible the different forms of violence which have been subjected to journalists during this general election. “We are worried at the snail speed the investigations and apprehending of suspects has taken” said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.
HRNJ Uganda’s legal department will consider taking up the matter failure for the police to act immediately.
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