The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola has refuted claims that police is targeting the media stating that its the journalist who are attacking security by portraying it as brutal.
“We have heard complaints that the security is targeting the mede. On contrary, it is the media targeting security. It is portraying security as brutal.” IGO Ochola said.
Ochola was addressing journalists in a joint security briefing at Naguru where he revealed that police will not stop beating journalists if they don’t adhere to their commands.
“When we tell journalists that don’t go there and you insist to go where there is danger, we shall beat you for your own sake. I have no apology,” he added.
Amid the electoral campaigns, a number of journalists have been brutally tortured, shot, injured with teargas canisters and others had their equipments such as cameras, mobile phones confiscated and destroyed by the police officers. These includes; Ghetto TV journalist, Ashraf Kasirye, Daniel Lutaaya, NBS senior reporter and Ali Mivule of NTV. The three were brutalized in Masaka city last month while covering the presidential campaign for Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert, the NUP candidate. Sedan Kimathi, a journalist attached to Chimp Reports was allegedly beaten and his equipments destroyed while covering FDC candidate, Patrick Oboi Amuriat campaign.
Pictorials of brutalized journalists during the 2021 presidential electoral campaigns. Courtesy pix.
prompted various stakeholders like the Editors Guild, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) to issue statements demanding for the respect to the rights of journalists and the nedia.
In December last year, journalists abandoned security brief at the media centre after the UPDF Chief Political Commissar Let. Col. Henry Matsiko failed to apologise to the media for police actions against media practitioners.
As it is a norm, IGP Ochola emphasized that he will not apologise to police actions against the journalists as demanded by a section of journalists and the general public.
“We shall not apologize but we shall continue helping you not to go where there is danger.” Ochola added.
He further raised an accusing finger at the members of the public who plan to cause chaos and violence in the firthcoming elections that they will regret why they were born.
“If anyone tries to forment chaos you will regret why your mother gave birth to you,” IGP Ochola warned.
In a meeting were; Defence Minister, Adof Mwesigye, Minister for internal affairs Jeje Odongo, Prisons Boss, Johnson Byabashaija, CDF, Gen. David Muhoozi and Deputy IGP, Paul Lokech.
Minister Adolf Mwesigye denied reports that the UPDF is serving the interests of one presidential candidate in the elections to the expense of the others. He said the role of the UPDF is to ensure that the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner.
” There is no institutional policy in the UPDF that some candidates are preferred over the others. What the UPDF is interested in is a system of having a free and fair election and no compromise to the security of Uganda. ” Min Mwesigye said.
He urged the public to turn into big numbers and cast their votes on January 14.