Convicted Journalist Ronald Ssembusi Dead

3473 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
According to Byekwaso, Ssembusi had lost appetite and failed to take the medication. He says doctors pronounced him dead at 6am this morning and his body has been taken to the hospital mortuary.

Ronald Ssembusi, a Journalist recently convicted by Court in Kalangala for defamation is dead.

The reporter who was until recently attached to Central Broadcasting Services, died this morning at Masaka Regional referral Hospital. He had been diagnosed with Tuberculosis, meningitis and Malaria.

Frail and starved, Ssembusi was picked from his one-room rented house in Nyendo on December 24th and rushed to Masaka Hospital in critical condition. Kizito Byekwaso, the deceased's brother confirmed the sad development and added that his situation had worsened over the last three days. He complained of back-pain and severe headache. 

His woes started in November, 2014 when Daniel Kikoola, the former Kalangala LC 5 chairperson dragged him to court for defamation. Ssembusi had filed a story, aired on CBS Radio on November 17th implicating Kikoola in the theft of more than 80 solar panels meant to power the water plant supplying Kalangala town council.

He was subsequently convicted by Samuel Twakyire, the Kalangala Grade One Magistrate and sentenced to a fine of Ugx 1 Million.

Following the conviction, Ssembusi lost employment with his employer CBS who accused him of failing to uphold significant principles of journalistic professionalism. Key among them was failing to adhere to the need to balance news stories.

Godfrey Male Busulwa, the CBS Chief News Editor told Uganda Radio Network on phone that Ssembusi was suspended for repeating the same mistake, which landed in him in court.

However, on Wednesday, Ronald Ssembusi told Uganda Radio Network reporter that his health situation was worsened by the loss of employment since he did not have any source of income at the time.
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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.