Police on Sunday appealed for digital evidence to help detectives investigating circumstances under which three journalists were injured in the fracas as security officers dispersed supporters of National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi alias BobiWine in Masaka District.
Mr Saif-llah Ashraf Kasirye, a Radio One journalist and an online Ghetto TV cameraman was allegedly shot on the head as police dispersed supporters at Kyabakuza trading center in the outskirts of Masaka Municipality.
"Ashraf Kasirye, a journalist with Ghetto TV & good friend shot on the head by police as they blocked me! He is in a critical condition. We are hoping against hope that he will live," Mr Kyagulanyi said on Twitter.
NTV reporter Ali Mivuli is also nursing an injured leg after being hit by a teargas canister fired by Police while NBS TV’s senior Reporter, Daniel Lutaaya who was riding on a Boda Boda that was shot at during the mayhem. He is also admitted at Masaka regional referral hospital.
Police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, said chaos ensued after security team had “violent confrontations” with the Kyadondo East MP and his supporters at a check point in Kyabakuza after they allegedly defied the route plan agreed upon to Kyotera District where he was supposed to campaign today.
“Tear gas was used to quell the violence and journalists were regrettably caught up during the process of dispersing the violent group. Notably among them was a Ghetto TV crew member identified as Ashraf Kasirye, who sustained blunt force injuries above the left eye allegedly from a canister. The victim was rushed to Masaka Referral Hospital for medical attention. He remains stable but in serious condition and on transfer to Kampala for better management,” Mr Enanga said in a statement issued Sunday.
He said police media crimes department has taken interest in the matter and opened a case file to investigate the circumstances.
“We do appreciate the critical role journalists while covering the campaigns and pledge better protection cover so as to remain safe while documenting violent confrontations. We call upon anyone with digital evidence regarding the disturbing incident to share it with our task team of investigators from CID headquarters,” he said.