Kalisizo Prison Warders Freed as Journalists Lose Interest in Assault Case Top story

2924 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
A file of dismissal URN reporter has seen says Matovu dismissed it after prosecution failed to produce the journalists and their witnesses for five hearings. Matovu therefore dismissed it for failed prosecution indicating that the aggrieved parties lost interest in pursuing the matter.

Court has set free three prison warders accused of assaulting Rakai journalists for lack of  prosecution.
 
The officers are Robert Ssematta, Frank Kyomuhiru and Alex Mukasa all attached to Kalisizo Government Prison.
 
They were on trial for allegedly assaulting two journalists and causing malicious damage to their property.
 
The journalists are Daily Monitor scribe Pascal Lutabi and New Vision Group's John Bosco Mulyowa who were reporting on the escape of inmates from the prison.
 
The incident happened on March 18th 2013 when the two reporters rushed to Kalisizo Government Prison to report about the escape of prison inmates. Over ten inmates escaped from Kalisizo prison that day.
 
Prosecution alleges that during the filming of the escape, prison warders allegedly pounced on the two journalists and beat them up.
 
A medical report issued by Dr. Grace Kyasimire of Kisa Medical Centre shows that Lutabi sustained bodily injury.  The two journalists also lost their cameras and recorders after the prison warders allegedly confiscated and destroyed them.
 
This matter was before Hood Matovu, the Masaka Grade One Magistrate.
 
However, Uganda Radio Network has established that Matovu dismissed the case due to lack of prosecution. This case was dismissed on 19, April 2014 after the journalists refused to go to court to testify.
 
A file of dismissal URN reporter has seen says Matovu dismissed it after prosecution failed to produce the journalists and their witnesses for five hearings. Matovu therefore dismissed it for failed prosecution indicating that the aggrieved parties lost interest in pursuing the matter.
 
The two journalists Pascal Lutabi and Johnbosco Mulyoowa said they lost interest in the case. They did not however want to talk about the matter.
 
Diana Nandudu of Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda who was one of the legal officer for the journalists says she knew it would be dismissed. She says she pleaded with the journalists to show up in court but they did not.
 
Nandudu says the dismissal means the prison warders are free. She however says the dismissal would also encourage impunity among security agencies.

 

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.