TOP
  • Home
  • National
  • Battered journalist sues govt, demands compensation

Battered journalist sues govt, demands compensation

By Betty Amamukirori

Added 23rd February 2016 06:43 PM

Lwanga wants court to declare that his constitutional rights were violated and that the Uganda Police was responsible for the violations.

Lwanga 703x422

Andrew Lwanga being supported by relatives Mark Mourrson (right) and Frank Kabugo (left) after court proceedings at Buganda road court on 14/1/2016. PHOTO BY JULIET KASIRYE

Lwanga wants court to declare that his constitutional rights were violated and that the Uganda Police was responsible for the violations.

Photojournalist Andrew Lwanga who was battered by the Old Kampala District Police Commander, Joram Mwesigye, has dragged government to the civil court demanding for compensation.

In a plaint filed through Kawanga and Kasule Advocates, Lwanga wants court to declare that his constitutional rights were violated and that the Uganda Police was responsible for the violations.

"The violent unmitigated conduct of Mwesigye who struck the plaintiff and the police officers who with reckless disregard of his human life dragged him while injured constituted a violation of his constitutional right to protection from torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment," reads part of the plaint.

 Lwanga at his Hospital bed at Kololo at the beginning of February.



Lwanga, who is currently battling a spinal infection and is due to undergo surgery, was battered by the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mwesigye while covering a procession by the Unemployed Youths' of Uganda (UAU), to the police headquarters in Naguru, to present their petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura.

The youths were going to seek permission from the police boss to allow them hold rallies in the city center. When they reached Namirembe Road around Bakuli, they were intercepted by police led by Mwesigye.

The two groups engaged in a running battle and during the course of chasing after one of the youths, Mwesigye tripped and fell. When he realized that the event had been caught on camera, he lashed out at the journalist but missed.

Seething with anger, he and his two counterparts entered a Mark II car and drove off.

The youths assembled and resumed their procession but before they could go far, Mwesigye and his officers re-emerged and resumed the pursuit.

 


Unfortunately for Lwanga who was keen on capturing the whole event as it unfolded, became the scape goat, Mwesigye lashed out at him, smashing his camera and hitting him hard four times with a herdsman rod, a strike that fell him to the ground.

Mwesigye, who is currently facing charges of assault and malicious damage at Buganda road Chief Magistrates Court, then ordered his men to bundle him into the car.

The event that happened on January 12, 2015, preceded several medical tests in different hospitals which declared that the Journalists spinal cord had been damaged.

In the suit filed on 15th of this month, Lwanga said that Mwesigye's actions led to life threatening injuries and later development of chronic illnesses, thus violating his right to live.

 DPC Joram Mwesigye facing assault charges at Buganda Road Court


He also wants a declaration that his right to work, property and personal liberty were violated by the officer when he (Mwesigye) crippled him, destroyed his camera and intimidated him from covering the procession.

Lwanga claims that besides his camera, he lost some valuables worth USD 1250.00 and sh500, 000 which he had in cash.

He wants court to grant him punitive damages for the blatant and reckless disregard of human life by Mwesigye and special damages of sh20m medical expenses incurred from date of filing the case till full payment at a Commercial rate of 28% per annum.

He wants replacement of his professional camera and all the valuables he lost.

The court has issued summon letters to the attorney general and he has been given 15 days to respond.

Last month, President Yoweri Museveni cleared his medical bills at Kampala Hospital and he is expected to undergo surgery.

More From The Author

Related articles