NBS television journalist Solomon Serwanja has broken silence on the arrest of his wife, Vivian Nakaliika Serwanja who was arrested by police alongside BBC scribes who were pursuing a drugs theft racket story for Next Media and BBC.
Serwanja who sought to clear the air about his wife’s involvement in the story, said, Vivian who is employed as a public relations officer at the Ministry of Health, had nothing to do with the investigation. Vivian, among other responsibilities, is employed to protect the image of the ministry.
The Ministry of Health has already issued a statement supporting the journalists’ investigation to expose the racket that denies poor Ugandans a right to access medicine.
“I want to make this clear, especially to the Ministry of Health where my wife is employed that she was not aware of this project. This is my journalism work which I was doing with my friends from BBC and I plead to her bosses to understand this,” said Serwanja after recording a statement at Central Police Station in Kampala on Friday.
Vivian Serwanja was arrested on Thursday morning from their home in Mukono after police allegedly found government drugs at their home.
Other journalists including BBC journalists Mohammed Kassim and Rashid Kaweesa with whom Serwanja was working on the investigation, were arrested on Wednesday.
On Friday, they were released on police bond and will report to police after two weeks.
Serwanja did not explain his absence at his home on Wednesday night as his wife was under siege, however he said that amidst all charges put against him and his wife, he would continue with the investigation.
The journalist promised to fight hard and finish this project because there is need to expose the big guys in government behind the racket selling government drugs.
“This project must go on because it’s going to expose a lot of things and I am sure we are going to see a strong shake-up in this ministry and a lot of changes,” he added.
Serwanja said he was not terrified of the charges preferred against him and his wife. He said, “the fourth estate must help the government to fight these bad practices.”
The journalist whose investigative pieces have won him applause and awards said people in districts such as Lamwo have hospitals without drugs yet some people were diverting them.”
When asked why he had kept government drugs at his home, Serwanja said that the matter is under investigation and it was not fit to speak about it.
Police spokesman, Fred Enanga, said police did not confiscate any of the gadgets from the journalists neither did they take any footages from them.
“We allow this investigation and these journalists are free to continue with their investigations but we appeal to them to work within the laws so that nothing sabotages their work like this scenario has affected them because they have been exposed,” Enanga. He said the police is going to cooperate with journalists, the Ministry of Health, National Drug Authority to trace where the drugs came from.
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