5 Arrested, Journalist Beaten Up in Bukomansimbi Riots Top story

2946 Views Bukomansimbi District, Uganda

In short
In the chaos, Dickson Mutebi, a reporter with Bukedde TV based in Bukomansimbi, was stoned by a group of protesters. Mubarak Ssebufu, a reporter with Buddu Media Group who was also at the scene, says the group accused Mutebi of airing reports that claimed Kalibala was engaged in human sacrifice.

Police is on high alert in Bukomansimbi district as it braces for a fourth day of protest.
 
Bukomansimbi has experienced three days of serious protests as residents attempt to lynch the former Butenga village LC 1 chairperson Augustine Kalibala in police custody.
 
Kalibala is accused along with his sister Margaret Nassiwa of kidnapping and killing children for ritual sacrifice.
 
In July Nassiwa was found holding hostage the child of a neighbour. The child had been reported in Butenga village as missing.
 
Nassiwa has since gone on the run. It is thought she is in hiding in Ssembabule district.
 
Remains determined by police to belong to a human baby were discovered in Kalibala's garden in Butenga on Monday. The remains were discovered by a casual labourer.
 
The discovery triggered off protests in Butenga that have lasted three days.
 
After demanding for Kalibala's arrest, angry residents on Wednesday attacked the brother and sister's homes and razed them to the ground.
 
The mob also cut down Kalibala and Nassiwa's plantations.
 
The mob then marched to Butenga trading centre, blocked the Masaka-Sembabule road and attacked a police post. They wanted to break into the police cells, drag out Kalibala and lynch him.
 
Police was forced to fire live bullets and teargas to disperse the mob.
 
In the chaos, Dickson Mutebi, a reporter with Bukedde TV based in Bukomansimbi, was stoned by a group of protesters.
 
Mubarak Ssebufu, a reporter with Buddu Media Group who was also at the scene, says the group accused Mutebi of airing reports that claimed Kalibala was engaged in human sacrifice.
 
Ssebufu says Mutebi was so badly shaken by the attack he could hardly talk by the time police came to his rescue. He had to receive medical attention at Butenga Health Centre.
 
Ssebufu claims that his own camera was also damaged in the chaos.
 
Gertrude Tamaya, the Bukomansimbi District Police commander, confirms that police had to fire teargas to disperse the mob and save Mutebi's life.
 
Tamaye says police arrested five suspects for assaulting the journalist and destroying property. She identifies the suspects as Regina Nakanwagi, Joseph Kakembo, Christopher Juuko, Steven Kanakulya and Joseph Lubega.
 
Tamaye says she has transferred these suspects to Masaka central police station where there is maximum security. She also says anti-riot police from Masaka has been deployed in Bukomansimbi to help restore order.
 
The attack on Mutebi comes at a time when reporters in greater Masaka region are living in fear of attack for doing their work.
 
Several reporters in Rakai are living in fear after alleged supporters of Ponsiano Lwakataka threatened to harm them for reporting on the cases against the rally driver.

They accuse the journalists of ruining Lwakataka’s reputation by reporting on the cases against him. Lwakataka faces charges of assault, threatening violence and obstructing an officer during the course of duty in Rakai.

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.