Journalists under their umbrella body, the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) have said they are going to boycott covering of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) activities if the opposition party does not publicly apologise following assault on two scribes.
Ronald Kabuye, the association Secretary for Information said on Monday March 18, 2019, journalist who had gone to cover the party’s weekly press conference at its headquarters in Najjanankumbi were assaulted by its errant officials.
“It all started when journalists complained of the late cancellation of the press conference way beyond the stipulated time, which prompted the party known officials who work as security officials, to lock them [journalists] in the boardroom before battering some of them,” said Kabuye in a statement dated March 18, 2019.
He identified the errant officials as Henry Katumba and a one George.
Kabuye further noted that as journalists, they demand FDC party leadership to publicly apologise not later than today.
“They must also give us an assurance that the same will never happen, failure to adhere to our demands, we shall boycott covering all the party activities.”
He signed out by condemning all kinds of violence against journalists and the public at large.
However, Ronald Muhinda, an aide to former party president Dr Kizza Besigye has rubbished UJA’s claim saying FDC does not have any officials by names they identified. He has also tasked the association to bring out the assaulted journalists.
“As a law abiding citizen that abhors violence, I have tried to establish if there is any FDC official In the records of the party called Katumba Henry or a one George.Does the FDC National Council, Working Committee, NEC and Delegates Conference dont have Members called Katumba Henry and one George? None. Since all offices in FDC are elective, except CAO, I have asked someone from Electoral Commission to establish the offices which the two occupy at Najjanankumbi, Districts, constituencies, Sub Counties or parishes of Uganda. However I am aware there is an FDC supporter called Katumba Moses,” said Muhinda in a Facebook post.
“Whether Katumba Henry and Katumba Moses are one and the same person or hold any official office in FDC, I have no idea.”
On the other hand, Muhinda said if any journalist was beaten inside FDC Headquarters, it should be strongly condemned.
“If Katumba Henry holds any office in FDC, he should be forced to resign. If it is Katumba Moses, who doesn’t hold any office, then he should be banned from Najjanankumbi offices for a period not less than a year. And if UJA got names wrong, then it should apologise too for releasing wrong information to the public,” he stated.