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BY UPESI REPORTER,NAIROBI,8TH JAN,2021-Uganda’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth Ochola has now come out to defend recent cases of police brutality towards journalists, especially those covering opposition presidential candidates.
Mr. Ochola, speaking during a joint security briefing in Kampala on Friday, said the police officers have been and will continue beating up journalists not to hurt them but to…get this…protect them from danger.
According to the IGP, the security force has no apologies to make to any of the three journalists – Ali Mivule (NTV), Ashraf Kasirye (Ghetto TV) and Daniel Lutaaya (NBS TV) – who on December 27, 2020 in their line of duty sustained injuries from teargas and rubber bullets directed at them by police.
“We have heard complaints that security is targeting the media. On the contrary, it is the media targeting security. It is portraying security as brutal and siding with government,” IGP Ochola said, as quoted by the Daily Monitor.
“When we tell a journalist, don’t go there and you insist on going where there is danger, we shall beat you for your own safety. I have no apology. We shall not apologise but we shall continue helping you not to go where there is danger.”
According to the publication, journalists covering President Yoweri Museveni’s opponents in next week’s elections, such as Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform (NUP) party and Patrick Oboi Amuriat of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party, have faced the wrath of police in what they now term as targeted attacks “to scare them from covering the violence being meted out on Ugandans.”
“I would like to assure the whole country that whoever causes trouble will regret why his or her mother gave birth to him or her,” IGP Ochola further warned ahead of the January 14, 2021 polls.