A local journalist who was allegedly assaulted by Old Kampala police commander SP Joram Mwesigye has displayed x-rays of his dislocated backbone in court.
By Michael Odeng
KAMPALA - A local journalist who was allegedly assaulted by Old Kampala police commander SP Joram Mwesigye has displayed x-rays of his dislocated backbone in court.
Andrew Lwanga, who works with WBS TV, appeared uneasy and unsettled during a session at Buganda Road Court this week.
The court, presided over by Grade One Magistrate Sanyu Mukasa, allowed the x-rays to be presented as exhibit for identification purposes.
Lwanga accuses Mwesigye of assaulting him last month while covering a demonstration by unemployed youth in the capital.
On top of charges of assault, the police commander also faces two counts of damaging property, including two cameras – one belonging to Lwanga and another to Bukedde TV journalist, Joseph Ssentimba.
Lwanga walked into the courtroom using crutches, and later revealed a piece of cloth wrapped around his waist meant to aid his sitting.
He kept on changing his sitting position every five or so minutes while giving his testimony.
The journalist, who was visibly in pain, told court that doctors at Nsambya Hospital in Kampala told him his legs were paralyzed.
“After the scan, the doctors told me that I couldn’t walk because my legs were paralyzed and that the spinal code was bent because other parts had stretched.”
'I became dizzy'
It was revealed that a group of six Mulago Hospital doctors recommended Lwanga to go for therapy instead of an operation because there was a risk of him becoming lame.
The accused, Joram Mwesigye, 38, is attached to the Professional Standards Unit at Old Kampala police station.
Lwanga testified that Mwesigye assaulted him with a black stick while covering the demonstration.
“The DPC came out of his car and started chasing the demonstrators and tripped. On getting back to his feet, he hit my hands and the head with the stick and in the process I became dizzy and fell down.”
He also told court that he lost $250 (about sh700, 000) which belonged to Isaac Bakabulinde and a Samsung phone on that fateful day.
During examination, Lwanga said he no longer affords paying house rent and school fees for his children.
He also confirmed to court that the police paid half of his medical bills and also gave him some money for use.
During cross examination by the defense (Mwesigye’s) lawyer, the journalist said that on the day he was attacked, the protesters were taking a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kale Kayihura to allow their assemblies.
All the while, the accused police officer looked on in disbelief as the journalist presented the evidence against him.
When contacted, the police spokesperson Fred Enanga told New Vision that the police had paid the medical bill. He also said that the journalist will be compensated after investigations are complete.
The case was adjourned until March 30 for further hearing.
Assaulted journalist displays x-rays in court