Peter Otai said Kyaligonza's bodyguards roughed him up after seeing him taking their photographs as they were assaulting a police officer, Esther Namaganda.
UBC journalist, Peter Otai shows scars on his arm after Maj. Gen. Kyalingoza's bodyguards assaulted him. This was during a press conference in Kampala on Friday March 1, 2019. Photos by Francis Emorut
KAMPALA - A journalist with Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) has narrated his ordeal after two Military Police Unit bodyguards for Uganda's ambassador to Burundi (Rtd) Maj. Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza allegedly assaulted him and a traffic officer on duty.
Peter Otai said the bodyguards roughed him up after seeing him taking their photographs as they were assaulting a police officer, Esther Namaganda.
"They slapped me and kicked me," Otai narrated.
He explained that had it not been because of his efforts of shooting videos and posting to social media, the public would have not known what took place.
He accused the public of using gender lens focusing on Namaganda and keeping quiet about his plight and yet he too was beaten.
Otai said the public has condemned the army officers and their boss but no one has sympathised with him saying Parliament spent two days debating about Kyalingoza saga and passed a resolution to recall him.
"As the public sympathises with Namaganda, what about me who was beaten too?" Otai asked as he pointed at the scars on his arm the soldiers inflicted on him.
Otai was speaking to journalists during a press conference organised by Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) in Kampala on Friday.
"Nobody has apologised to a journalist who was beaten and yet Parliament spent two days debating Kyaligonza. The right of a journalist has not been respected," he noted.
Otai, who was flanked by his lawyer Emmanuel Elau and the vice president of UJA Mercy Namirembe demanded for compensation or else he will drag the envoy to court.
Counsel Elau said if the NRM vice chairman western region doesn't pay sh500m within a week, he will file lawsuit of assault against him.
Lance Corporal Peter Bushindiki and Private Okurut John Robert, who were both deployed as Very Important Persons (VIP) guards for Kyaligonza were captured on camera assaulting a traffic officer, Sergeant Namaganda who had stopped them from making a U-turn in the middle of the road.
The incident's video recording went viral on social media, occurred in Seeta, Mukono district. Namaganda filed a complaint at Seeta police station.
Namaganda alleges that the driver of the vehicle in which Kyaligonza was moving, tried to make a U-turn in the middle of the road. However, the two military police officer and Kyaligonza pounced on her when she tried to direct them to the right turning point.
Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Richard Karemire says that the two soldiers were arrested as investigations into the incident continue.
"They are now held at Military Police Headquarters. We reiterate our commitment to ensuring discipline of all ranks," Karemire said.
Namirembe said the law should take its course and Kyalingonza should be recalled.
She also called for respect of journalists' rights who are in line of duty.