A freelance journalist in Sembabule has been arrested by the Presidential Guard Brigade for filming a scuffle between the brigade's officers and supporters of the incumbent Lwemiyaga MP, Theodore Ssekikubo.
Issa Aliga, a reporter with Nation TV and the Daily Monitor, was part of a group of journalists who traveled to Lwemiyaga this morning to cover President Yoweri Museveni's campaign.
Jacinta Bwanika, a reporter with Super FM who witnessed Aliga's arrest, says that at about 11 a.m. members of the Presidential Guard Brigade clashed with Ssekikubo's camp at a junction near Lwemiyaga Secondary School. She says the two groups fought over Ssekibubo's right to place one of his huge campaign posters next to Museveni's.
Aliga stopped to film the scuffle and suddenly attention turned from the posters to the journalist.
Bwanika says the soldiers confiscated Issa Aliga's camera and detained him in their tent. They also ordered all journalists to leave immediately, although the media had been accredited to cover the campaign. Those who tried to resist were threatened with arrest.
Theodore Ssekikubo says he witness the journalist's arrest. He suspects that Aliga was arrested because he attempted to capture, for public record, an example of the army's involvement in partisan politics.
Ssekikubo claims that he tried to rescue Aliga, but was prevented from freeing him by the soldiers.
Linda Nabusaayi Wamboka, President Museveni's press secretary, says she was not at the scene when the journalist was arrested and cannot comment on it.
On January 26th about 15 journalists were blocked covering NRM Liberation Day celebrations in Masaka. They were turned away by the Presidential Guard Brigade.
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