Government asks to be allowed to settle journalists’ beating case out of court

By Sania Babirye

The Government has asked the High court in Kampala to allow them settle out of court a case in which Human Rights activist and Lawyer Stephen Kalali, dragged the government to court over what he describes as continued beating of journalists while in line of their duty by security agents.

According to General Godard Businge, the head of the legal affairs in the UPDF, the army and the Journalists relationship has tremendously improved and more efforts are being put in place to better both their relationships.

He added that it is a wastage of time and resources on both sides to continue with the said legal suit, yet, it would be better if court allows both parties to settle the matter amicably.

The Court has adjourned the case to the 14th of June when it will decide on the said request.

In February this year, Kalali petitioned the High Court Civil division seeking orders including permanently order, restraining Government Security Agencies from further acting with alleged gross impunity, malice and interfering with the rights of all media houses and journalists in peaceful pursuit of their work.

On the 17th of February, while covering National Unity platform party president Robert Kyagulanyi present his Human rights violation petition at the United Nations offices in Kololo, Military police pounced on the journalists who were waiting for Kyagulanyi outside the UN offices leaving many with serious injuries.

In his petition supported by Lwanga Andrew Kisegella, a member of the Uganda human rights network for journalists and also a victim of police brutality, Kalali is suing government through the attorney general.

The chief of the Uganda Defense Forces David Muhoozi came out and apologized for the said incident with some soldiers arraigned before the disciplinary committee and allegedly charged and imprisoned for nine Mon

He later organised a football Match between the media and the Army as a reconciliation gesture, however, the beating of Journalists has continued by the army personnel while in line of duty.