Friday April 29 2011

Police rough up Monitor journalist, destroy photos of protests

By Mike Ssegawa

In the brief morning scuffle between military police and the mechanics at Kirinya Road in Jinja town on Friday, security personnel roughed up a Daily Monitor correspondent, Mr Denis Edema, destroying photographs he had taken of the burning tyres, and confiscating his card reader, as he went on his duties.

Mr Edema who had rushed to Kirinya Road, the artisans’ district in Jinja town, where FDC enjoys massive support, had gone to cover the burning of tyres in the road and of people singing singing of FDC slogans, the early signs of protests in Jinja. As he took photographs, police and soldiers who were putting out the burning tyres, turned their anger on him.

“One of them asked me who I was. I introduced myself as a journalist with Daily Monitor. But he was not satisfied. He told me that I am not allowed to take photos of soldiers doing their work,” narrated Mr Edema.

“They surrounded me, taking away my camera, and deleting my photographs and confiscated my card reader.”

It took the intervention of the army spokesman, Lt Col Felix Kulayigye, as the mean military officers threatened not to return a Daily Monitor property.
“Afande Kulayigye called the commander on the scene and told him to return the card and they let me off the hook,” said Mr Edema.

In Jinja, police and military patrol vehicles spent the day patrolling the town, looking out for possible unrest.

Military men were stationed at various posts through the town.