Senior police officer suspended over assaulting journalists

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MPIGI. The officer in charge of Nkozi Police Station in Mpigi District, Assistant Superintendent of Police Moses Muhindo, who allegedly commanded and involved himself in assaulting two journalists at a graduation ceremony on Tuesday has been suspended.

Mr Muhindo has been called back to Katonga region police headquarters and replaced with AIP Ambrose Barigye pending further inquiries over allegations that he assaulted Mr Mathias Mazinga, a New Vision reporter and Paddy Bukenya, a correspondent at Bukedde newspaper and destroyed one of their cameras.
“We (police) have to investigate intensively over his conduct. They (journalists) reported a case of damaging a camera and being beaten up. We shall not detain him as of now but he has been suspended from police duties until further notice,” said Mr Ahmed Kimera Sseguya, the police commander in Mpigi District.

Security officers dragging Mr Mathias Mazinga,

Security officers dragging Mr Mathias Mazinga, a journalist attached to New Vision after battering him. Photo by Sadat Mbogo

The incident happened at Nkozi village, Nkozi Sub-county during the 22nd graduation ceremony of Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) just days after the former Old Kampala DPC, Joram Mwesigye was convicted of assault and sentenced to a fine of Shs1m and another Shs5m as compensation to his victim, Andrew Lwanga, a journalist formerly working with the defunct WBS TV.

Mr Bukenya told this reporter that he was feeling pain especially in the chest and ribs.
“I went to Mpigi Health Center IV to get treatment in the morning (Wednesday) because my life was worsening but since pain was much in the chest, the doctor recommended me to visit Gombe Hospital for thorough body scanning,” he said.

He added: “I am no longer working because my camera was taken by police as an exhibit and how I wish that justice is not delayed because I want to resume working.”
However, Mr Muhindo blamed the reporters of defying security guidelines when they were told not to enter the campus with their gadgets of work and tried to resist but Ms Margaret Nangooba, UMU Public Relations Officer clarified that the university authority had already accredited the journalists to cover their event and there was no need for police to block them.

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