Five journalists held for alleged illegal possession of classified drugs

By Robert Segawa

Police is looking for NBS journalist Solomon Sserwanja to help them in investigations over buying classified government drugs.

Addressing journalists at Central Police Station, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said the three journalists were buying classified government drugs in Makindye division. He said security agencies later swung into action arresting them journalists and their driver.

According to Onyango, on arrest the journalists confessed to having more boxes of drugs stored at fellow journalist Solomon Sserwanja’s home in Mukono. “We went to his home for a search and found 14 boxes of Lumefantine, vaccines for hepatitis b and other drugs,”Onyango said. He added that on summoning Sserwanja last night he refused to turn up on time forcing police detectives to cordon off his home until today morning.

Onyango adds that police used warrant card in presence of local council 1 together with Sserwanja ‘s wife Vivian Nakalika.

He also adds that after carrying out search both local council one and his wife managed to sign on form before drive them to central police station. He further says that,although the journalists were doing an investigative story they never informed police to provide them security.

Onyango identified identified the suspects as Kassim Mohammed of BBC, Shafiq Kasame, Badebya Godfrey, Rashid Kawesa a driver and Vivian Nakalika.
He adds that the five ( 5 ) will appear in courts of law on charges of illegal possession of classified drugs.

Robert Ssempala the Director Human Rights Network for Journalist (HRNJ) condemned Uganda Police Force for searching a home of Solomon Sserwanja who was gathering information pertaining the top government officials in National Medical Store who are involved in selling off government drugs illegally.

Parliament overturns decision to accredit only 100 journalists

The Parliamentary Commission and Public Relations Department have rescinded an earlier decision to accredit only 100 journalists to cover the house citing the high number of applications received.

In January this year, parliament asked media house to submit names of journalists with degrees in mass communication or any related discipline for accreditation to cover the 10th parliament.

According to the communication, only 100 qualifying journalists would be accredited. Chris Obore, the Director Public Relations at parliament, says they decided to rescind the decision to accredit only 100 journalists after receiving more than 200 applications.

According to Obore, so far 170 journalists have been accredited. He however, says they are still receiving more applications from media organisations that didn’t respond to the call in time.

On whether parliament received applications from journalists with lower qualifications, Obore said they received less than 10 applications from journalists with diplomas but they were not considered.

According to the Information Office of parliament, 160 journalists were accredited to cover the Ninth Parliament.

-URN