The Seventh-Day Adventist Church leaders in the East Buganda
Station have said they regard the statements by the Inspector General of Police -IGP Martin
Okoth Ochola to the journalists as reckless and uncalled for.
The East Buganda Station first elder, Apollo Mubiru says Ochola
as the head of the police institution was wrong not to denounce the
officers' cruel actions towards the journalists during the ongoing
From the start of the presidential campaigns, a number of
journalists have suffered the wrath of police cruelty including beatings and being tear gassed, shot at and imprisonment.
For that reason,
during the joint security press briefing held on Friday at Naguru Police
headquarters about how prepared the team is in respect to peace keeping as the
country approaches the 2021 general elections to be held on Thursday, January
14, the journalists asked the IGP to apologize on behalf of the institution.
Ochola declined to give an apology, saying
when police beat the journalists, they are trying to put them right which
is for their own safety. He vowed to have police continue behaving in the same manner.
Elder Mubiru says that such statements from the IGP during
this critical campaign time spreads hate and may cause violence towards the rest
of the journalists which will not be good for the profession.
The pastor and station director in charge of the greater Mukono
region, Joseph Ssembuusi, asked the security agencies to apply means of dialogue
instead of brutality which have been exposed in the last days of the campaigns.
//Cue in: “As a spiritual…
Cue out: … to use cruelty.”//
The Mukono station pastor, Noah Ssekitto has called upon
Ugandans to give priority to peace during the whole election process instead of
violence as the only option which will leave Uganda peaceful even after the polls.
On December 27, 2020, Ashraf Kasirye, a Ghetto media journalist was shot at on the head by Police while conducting a live
coverage for the campaign trail for the National Unity Platform’s (NUP)
presidential flag bearer, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu in Masaka district.
Kyagulanyi said that Kasirye was shot at with a rubber
bullet at close range though police clarified that he was hit with a tear gas
canister. He is currently admitted at Rubaga hospital undergoing treatment but
in critical condition. But whether rubber bullet of teargas cannister, Kasirye is in critical condition fighting for his life.
Pastor Ssembuusi, the main facilitator has appealed to the elders to exhibit exemplary leadership, to be truthful and hardworking.
The SDA leaders have been addressing a one day seminar for
the church elders from the East Buganda Station held at Mukono Central
Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The East Buganda Station comprises Mukono,
Buikwe, Kayunga and Buvuma districts.