Ugandan journalist ‘kidnapped’ four months ago charged with treason

Friday February 16 2018

Rev Isaac Bakka

Rev Isaac Bakka 

By Tom Malaba

Reverend Isaac Bakka who went missing about four months ago is being held in Luzira Maximum Security Prison, Daily Monitor has established.
Rev Bakka went missing and his whereabouts remained unknown for some time.

On Thursday, Members of Parliament raised their concerns over the state of Press Freedom in Uganda on the floor of Parliament following the kidnap of New Vision Senior Reporter, Charles Etukuri.
Charles Etukuri was kidnapped on Monday by five men wearing military uniforms and travelling in a white Toyota double cabin.

READ: Government on spot over two missing journalists

Sources in Luzira prison confirmed to The Daily Monitor that Rev. Isaac Bakka was charged in Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court about a week ago and remanded to prison.
Another source in security that did not want to be named also said Rev Bakka had been arraigned in Nakawa court and charged with cases related to treason.

“He was dealing with some armed groups in South Sudan and he was charged with subversion,” the source said but declined to be named because he is not allowed to speak to the media. He declined to reveal more details about the charges brought against the veteran journalist.
Unfortunately this piece of information could not be corroborated by prisons authorities because it was a public holiday.
“I cannot find out on a public holiday. We have only guards in the Prison. This requires officers and must be on a working day,” Dr Johnson Byabashaija said in a message.

Rev Bakka was kidnapped on October 9, 2017 after someone called him to help him find space to set up a supermarket.
His relatives tried to trace him in vain prompting them to report a case of disappearance at Seeta police on SD Ref. 29/09/10/2017.
Bakka was a freelance journalist working with BTN television as a cameraman and Nile FM.
Mr Paul Opio, a close friend of Rev Bakka said he first learnt of his disappearance from his wife, who had gone to his home in Seeta inquiring whether he had seen him.

He said one time Daniel Bakka, the missing journalist’s son traced him to Special Investigations Unit offices in Kirekka but was denied access to his father and told to seek permission from Gen. Kale Kayihura.
“The last time we heard from him is when he called his wife telling her he had been released before his phone went off again,” Mr Opio said.
Opio said ever since the arrest of Rev Bakka, his family had shifted from Misindye, in Goma Division in Mukono to a relative’s place in Namugongo over accumulated rent arrears.
When we tried to reach the journalist’s wife, Sylvia Bakka, her known telephone number was off.
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