18 March 2019

Uganda: FDC Activists Assault Journalists At Party Headquarters

Photo: The Observer
Forum for Democratic Change party members (file photo).

Two activists of the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) on Monday assaulted journalists who had gone to cover the party's weekly press conference at the organisation's head office in Najjanankumbi, Kampala.

The two party supporters who allegedly assaulted the journalists include a one Moses Mutumba and a certain George.

They reportedly locked up several journalists inside the conference room after realising that Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the party spokesman, who was slated to address the journalists would not show up.

Mutumba allegedly declined to let them move out of the room despite demands from journalists who had already moved out.

The journalists had earlier expressed anger over the party's failure to alert them that the press briefing had flopped.

Mutumba reportedly exchanged bitter words with the irritated journalists who were demanding the freedom of their colleagues.

The verbal exchange culminated in a scuffle as some journalists tried to force the conference room door open.

The fight was, however, stopped by some senior FDC officials who pulled Mutumba away.

Mr Ronald Kibuye, the spokesperson of Uganda Journalists Association said if the party did not apologise, they would boycott future party press briefings.

"This is the last time this violence against journalists should happen. These [FDC] officials are taking us [journalists] for granted. They should apologise to the media fraternity, "Mr Kibuye said.

Moments later, Mr Harold Kaija, the deputy secretary general of FDC issues a brief apology which he circulated on various social media platforms.

"Dear colleagues I have learnt of the uncivilized scenes at our Party Headquarters where errant individuals mistreated some journalists. As a party, we can't accept such savage behaviour even towards our perceived opponent, the brief statement reads in part. "I take this opportunity to apologise on behalf of the party. We shall conduct disciplinary act on them. We need you [journalists] as partners."

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