The National Unity Platform has disowned the group of people who beat up NBS journalists, vandalized and stole their equipment, saying they were most likely planted by state agencies to discredit the opposition party.
Yesterday November 12, 2020, a group of stick-wielding thugs, dressed in NUP red colours, laid a roadblock in one of the roads leading to Lira town and stopped a team of NBS journalists who were covering Robert Kyagulanyi’s campaign.
The thugs beat them up the journalists, vandalized their car, camera and stole other valuable items like a laptop computer.
But according to the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) this is not an isolated incident. In the few days of the just launched presidential campaigns, six journalists have been assaulted, and in most cases by security agencies like the Police.
ACME strongly condemned the attacks on the Journalists.
“We condemn these acts of violence against journalists in the strongest terms, irrespective of
who the perpetuator is, said Dr. Peter Mwesige, the Executive Director. “These actions are
dampening the free flow of information which is very vital in informing voters during this
election period,” Dr. Mwesige added.
A statement by NUP spokesperson Joel Ssentongo says: “NUP condemns in the strongest terms, the attack by goons on some of our supporters, plus journalists (particularly those of NBS) who even lost equipment yesterday during campaigns in Lira. We hope the perpetrators will be held liable.
He added: “We also have information that the state in conjunction with police have made plans to keep planting goons, sometimes with NUP/PeoplePower t-shirts in the crowds that welcome our Presidential candidate in the various districts he goes to.
“The intention is for them to wreck havoc by attacking people including media like they did yesterday, such that NUP gets soiled. Police plans to use the t-shirts and berets which they confiscated from our offices in Kamwokya recently. This won’t be the first time police does this.
“When we went to Lira for our consultations in January of this year, the then Lira DPC George Obia carried goons wearing People Power T-shirts and tags at the back of his police truck. The goons had sticks, ropes and metals, it looked like they were going on a hunting spree. You will remember that police planted guns and rounds of ammunition in Hon Kyagulanyi’s hotel room in Arua in 2018, but their plans eventually failed.
“Police and state security, we’re watching your every move! We appeal to our supporters to remain peaceful, that way we shall easily identify those who are planted to cause chaos.