Battered journalists decry delay in trial of DPC

KAMPALA- Two journalists who were recently battered by suspended Old Kampala DPC Joram Mwesigye on Tuesday expressed their dissatisfaction with the slow pace at which court is taking to hear their case.
Mr Mwesigye is charged with three counts, including assault and occasioning bodily harm and malicious damage of property.
Their complaints followed an adjournment of their case by Buganda Road Court to May 14 on grounds that the trial magistrate Sanyu Mukasa was indisposed. This was not the first time that this matter was being adjourned.

Speaking to fellow journalists after the court session, one of the victims Mr Joseph Ssettimba a journalist attached to a local television explained how it is frustrating the way the court is handling the case.
“I am still weak but I had to show up expecting that the matter was to proceed with a hearing since the witnesses were ready to testify. However, court just made another adjournment. This is the second time court is postponing the matter to another month,”Mr Ssettimba.
Mr Robert Ssempala the coordinator of Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), said that many people are looking forward to see how court goes about this matter yet the continuous adjournment frustrates justice.

He said that: “the fact that the victims are always in court any reason for further adjournments is an injustice matted against journalists as they have busy schedules.”
Mr Ssempala added: “this delay in letting witnesses testify, impacts on their memory line, it may preempt their recap of the incidences.”
Detectives attached to Professional Standards Unit arrested Mr Mwesigye on January 13, after his brutal attack on journalists a day before while they were covering the unemployed youth group.
The group was matching to Naguru police headquarters to seek permission for the different rallies.
Prosecution states that on January 12, at Florida bar and guest house along Namirembe road in Kampala the Superintendent of Police, Mr Mwesigye assaulted Mr Lwanga.
It is also stated that on the same day along Shell Petrol Station in Bakuli, a city suburb, the suspect maliciously damaged two video cameras belonging to Mr Lwanga and another scribe, Mr SSettimba.

bndagire@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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