BBC, NBS TV journalists arrested

KAMPALA- Police have detained five people including BBC and NBS journalists who were reportedly investigating a story about the theft of government drugs.

They are being held on charges of illegal possession of classified drugs.

The suspects include: Mr Godfrey Badebye, Mr Kassim Mohamad, Mr Rashid Kawesa- BBC journalists; Mr Shafiq Kisame (their driver), and Ms Vivian Nakaliika, the wife of Mr Solomon Sserwanjja (a journalist at NBS TV).

Mr Sserwanjja is also wanted on the same charges, but he is said to be on the run. 

A Thursday statement by Next Media Services, that owns NBS TV, said that together with BBC Africa, they commissioned an investigation into an alleged sale of Uganda government drugs on the black market.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesman, Mr Patrick Onyango, said Mr Badebye, Mr Mohamad, Mr Kisame and Mr Kaweesa were arrested at the scene in Makindye, a Kampala city suburb, where they were allegedly buying classified drugs from an undercover security officer on Wednesday night.

“We are holding five suspects on charges of illegal possession of classified drugs contrary to Section 27(2) of the National Drugs Authority Cap 206. Their file will be taken to State Attorney for perusal any time,” SP Onyango said.

According to police, the first suspects led them to Mr Sserwanjja’s home in Mukono District, where they claimed the first batch of drugs they bought were kept.

SP Onyango said the police officers secured the house and called Mr Sserwanjja to come and lead them in the search.

“He promised to come but in vain. In the morning, we carried out a search and found classified drugs in his house leading to the arrest of his wife, Ms Nakaliika, who also works for the Ministry of Health,” he said.

It is alleged that detectives found 14 boxes of lumefantrine tablets, vaccines for Hepatitis B and other drugs labelled with government seals.

Ms Sserwanjja was later taken to police where she recorded a statement and detained.

“We are also looking for Mr Sserwanjja to help us investigate how government drugs ended up at his home,” he said.

A statement by