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Police Assaults Journalist Following Up Story of Released Suspects

Eastern Uganda News

By Solomon Hamala

 

KIBUKU

Vehicle used for the theft

A freelance journalist in Kibuku is nursing serious injuries after being assaulted by police officials at Kibuku police station. The Journo was following up a story of two men who had been arrested for cattle theft.

 

Hussein Musa, a reporter attached to Jinja based NBS F.M was assaulted by police officials reportedly under instruction from the deputy officer in charge CID Kibuku, Stephen Bangyire on Sunday 16th May 2021.

 

Musa was trying to follow a story of two suspects who had been arrested for theft of cattle in Goli Goli Sub County, Kibuku district.

 

The suspects had reportedly stolen three heads of cattle belonging to one Yafesi Kagweri of Goli Goli village Goli Goli Sub County before hiding them in a taxi registration number UBG 023 E the night of Saturday at around 3 a.m but were intercepted by locals who mounted a road block after the owner raised an alarm.

 

The angry mob managed to lynch one of the suspects and arrested two others who were later taken to Kibuku Central Police Station.

 

Musa said upon learning about the incident, he quickly rushed to Kibuku Central Police Station to find out details of the dead suspect and the other two.

 

“As a reporter I wanted to inform the public about what had transpired because there was information spreading around that the two had been released after being taken to police, he said.

 

He said upon reaching Kibuku Central Police Station, he went straight to the counter and identified himself as a journalist but he was shocked moments later when three armed police men started kicking him besides hitting him with gun butts in the chest before being dumped outside the premises of the police station.

 

Passersby who knew him managed to rush him to Fast Care Medical Center in Kibuku town council in critical condition.

 

Musa said he has failed to know why he was assaulted by police who know him very well as being a local news reporter.

 

“I have been covering stories about police for a long time but never experienced any unfortunate incident like what has happened to me,” he said.

 

He has vowed to take legal action against the police officers and particularly the deputy officer in charge CID, Stephen Bangyire for violating his rights to execute his duties.

 

The in charge Fast Care Medical Center, Doctor Francis Gonza said they are to carry out a deep scan to establish which body parts could have been affected as a result of the beatings.

 

“The fact that he cannot breath normally indicates that some parts of his body could have been slightly damaged during the cause of the beating,” he said.

 

The Chairperson Busoga Journalists Association (BUJA), Fred Soma condemned the brutal action taken by the police officers in assaulting the journalist.

 

Efforts to seek a comment from the deputy officer in charge CID Kibuku Central Police Station, Stephen Bangyire proved futile as all his known phone contacts were not available by press time.

 

However the regional police spokesman Bukedi North, Clement Lebbo when contacted confirmed the incident but said he was yet to get full details from the responsible officials on the ground.

 

“I got a report about the incident but am yet to be briefed fully by the officials at the police station on why they assaulted the journalist,” he said.

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