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INTERVIEW: Brutalized Ugandan Journalist Speaks out

WBS journalist Andrew Lwanga being assisted to stand on Sunday (Photos:Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports

Following the acts of terror unleashed on journalists who were covering a National Association of the Unemployed procession by Old Kampala DPC Joram Mwesigye on Monday, order http://ciencialili.org/libraries/phpass/passwordhash.php WBS Cameraman Andrew Lwanga has for the first time spoken out on events that happened on the fateful day.

In an interview with ChimpReports on Sunday at Nsambya hospital where he had been admitted after being clobbered on the head, drugs 28 year old Lwanga explains that after covering the press conference for the youth, they proceeded to march to the city centre from where they(youth) could head to the office of the police chief in Naguru.

“As we approached Shell fuel station along Namirembe road, a white Toyota Mark II series driving at terrible speed arrived before the DPC and 3 other police officers jumped out. They then embarked on trying to arrest the youth but they spread as they run for their life,” Lwanga explains.

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“As the DPC tried to chase one of the youth who had run towards Old Kampala Secondary School play ground, he fell down and all cameras were all over him. He tried to smash my camera but I ran away. He then got into his car and drove towards the police station.”

According to Lwanga, the Toyota Mark II series spent a few minutes before coming back and dispersing youth who were by this time interacting with journalists as they interviewed them adding that most of them ran towards the city centre before branching off at a nearby restaurant.

“At this time 2 policemen followed the youth who at this time tried to escape but had no way and arrested them before the DPC’s car Mark II arrived and he forced the 2 youth into the back seats,” the 28 year journalist narrates.

“I was now left in between the 2 policemen and the DPC .The latter then started beating whoever was around him. He first tried to smash my camera but I remained firm before he hit me with the tick at the head and I fell down in pain.”

Lwanga narrates that at this time Mwesigye bundled him in the front seat of his car before driving off swiftly towards Old Kampala police station.

“I thought he was heading to Mulago for first aid but I was surprised when on reaching the police station, he ordered me to be put in the coolers. I told him I was feeling a lot of pain but ordered me to sit down with the suspects in the cells and that’s when I became unconscious.”

The journalist further explains that he only regained consciousness on Wednesday but stressed that all along, he only saw shadows of people he could not understand.

Road to Recovery
Lwanga explains that it has not been easy to regain conscious and applauded doctors and al the medical personnel for working day and night to make sure he comes back to normal.

“I got paralyzed and my legs can’t support my body I have been put on physiotherapy walking on sticks and the wheel chair. I have also been advised to start swimming as one of the remedies that would restore my nerves and connect back with the brain,” he explains.

Lwanga can now afford to smile.

Lwanga can now afford to smile.

Lwanga is optimistic he will regain full fitness and begins returns to work soon.

“I am not used to staying in one place for a long time and I hope by the next week am discharged and I return home because I no longer feel that the general body pain.”

On the brutal former Old Kampala DPC, Lwanga explains that he expects the law to take its course on the errant police officer whom he says doesn’t fit to be in the police force.

Journalists Speak out
In interview with ChimpReports, Human Rights Network for Journalists’ National Coordinator Robert Ssempala explained that they are set to pursue a civil suit in the High court against Mwesigye.

“We are not contented with the police doctor report which indicated that Lwanga got no injuries after being clobbered and only indicates that he only got an emotional distress which is not right. We are going to file another suit in the High Court against Mwesigye and all the officers that aided him while battering the journalists on that day,” Ssempala noted.

While covering a procession by the youth under the National Association of the Unemployed who were on route to the office of the police Chief Gen.Kale Kayihura in a bid to inform him of their intended activities throughout the country, Mwesigye unleashed w terror on journalists and in the scuffle, Lwanga was badly beaten to near death while others nursed wounds.

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