I survived a bullet by a whisker
Posted Tuesday, January 24 2012 at 21:00
I had been assigned to cover yesterday’s opposition rally in Namungoona, a city suburb. The rally went without incident. Dr Besigye was the main speaker. After the rally ended peacefully around 6:40pm, I began following Besigye’s convoy as many of his supporters trekked alongside, dancing and cheering.
By the time we reached Gayaza Road Roundabout at Kalerwe, it was getting dark. Plain-clothed security operatives were now driving closely behind Besigye’s car in a police van registration UP 1928.
At the junction, and shortly after I walked past Besigye’s Land Cruiser vehicle, one of the operatives in the blue police van lobbed a teargas canister on the ground.
I thought this was their usual manner of dispersing the crowd of opposition activists as they have often done during various walk-to-work demonstrations I have covered since April last year.
But to my dismay, as I was kneeling down to take a picture of the exploding teargas, a person inside the van, whom I could not identify since it was already dark, in a split second opened and shot toward me and immediately closed the door.
The bullet missed me narrowly as I was in motion, bending. I was startled by the incident since I was only doing my work.
Now I am here wondering what a Ugandan citizen is supposed to do to earn a decent living if state actors try to kill one in line of legitimate employment. They can at best only attempt to deny it --- to save face but Suleiman Mutebi of Bukedde TV witnessed the episode.
Earlier, the security operatives had roughed up my colleague Michele Sibiloni of AFP while attempting to seize his camera.