Journalists covering the voting process in by-election of Member of Parliament (MP) for Busongora South constituency in Kasese District were Thursday on the receiving end of brutality from security agencies.
The editor of Rwenzori Daily, an online publication and also an employ of Messiah FM in Kasese, was put on gun point by soldiers and ordered to vacate the polling station in Katwe Katabaro Town Council in Busongora South County.
The by-election has registered a number of violent events. Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Kighema A. Baguma was arrested and is being detained at Kasese Central Police Station for kicking and shattering a ballot box.
Busongora County South MP by-election in Kasese district.
🎥TOO MUCH BRUTALITY & MANHANDLING OF JOURNALISTS BY SECURITY FORCES. ALEX BALUKU @BalukuAlex51 OF RWENZORI DAILY PUT ON GUNPOINT.@PoliceUg @HRNJUganda @ACME_Uganda @SarahBireete #RiseNewsUganda https://t.co/vv01U3q3P6 pic.twitter.com/0Ai8RiAxaD
— Rise News Uganda (@RiseNewsUganda) August 18, 2022
The FDC said Baguma was arrested by Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) officers who were ticking ballot papers in favor of an NRM candidate. The fracas didn’t spare the reporters present.
The opposition political party also said journalists who had recorded the unfortunate event at Katunguru were forced to delete pictures, videos and audio recordings at gunpoint.
Speaking to UGReports, an online publication, Baluku said: ‘’I don’t know whether the uniform men were also supposed to vote at the same polling station, but those are some of the issues that caused chaos at the polling station.’’
Baluku reported the matter to the journalists’ umbrella body in Kasese and was also set to report the matter to police. Several reports by different journalists bodies point it out that police is the biggest violator of the rights of the newsmen and women.