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Journalists Threatened for Covering Lwakataka Case

Taban Chiriga,the District CID, confirmes that he has received four cases of threats to journalists lives for covering the Lwakataka case. Chiriga says that police is investigating the cases.
Several journalists in Rakai district are now living in fear for their lives for reporting on rally driver Ponsiano Lwakataka's case.

 

The journalists say that they have been threatened by Lwakataka family members and supporters for reporting on court proceedings on Lwakataka's case.

 

Presently the disgraced former rally driver Lwakataka faces charges of assault, threatening violence and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

 

There is also a pending charge of murder against Lwakataka that was challenged by Lwakataka's defence team. In the charge, Lwakataka is accused of having a hand in the murder of 9 people from Pastor Steven Mugambe's family in Kyebe Sub County.

 

The reporters say it was reporting on this that has particularly incensed Lwakataka family members and supporters.

 

Radio Simba reporter Margaret Kayondo says she has been threatened several times. Kayondo says she was first threatened by Lwakataka’s men shortly after he was denied bail in his first court appearance and later remanded to Kalisizo government prison.

 

She says that while interviewing Lwakataka’s defence lawyer Hassan Khamba a group of more than 80 people surrounded her, insulted her using vulgar language and threatened violence against her if she continued to report on the case.

 

A Red Pepper reporter Jamiru Mpagi has recieved similar treatment. Mpagi says that he has received several calls warning him to stop reporting on the Lwakataka case or face dire consequences. Mpagi says he has also been informed that several Lwakataka supporters are looking for him.

 

Mpagi says he has informed detectives at Kalisizo and Rakai police stations about the threats. He is now afraid of meeting unfamiliar people.

 

Bukedde Newspaper reporter John Bosco Mulyoowa is in the same boat. Mulyoowa says he has been confronted by persons claiming to be Lwakataka supporters who have threatened him.

 

Mulyoowa says he has informed his employers of the threats to his life but the fear has made it harder for him to do his work.

 

Kayondo has already reported to Kalisizo Police station and obtained two Reference Numbers SD 21/07 /25/14 for inciting the modesty of a woman and SD 22/25/07/14 for threatening violence.

 

Taban Chiriga,the District CID, confirmes that he has received four cases of threats to journalists lives for covering the Lwakataka case. Chiriga says that police is investigating the cases.

 

An emergency meeting was called by the Rakai Journalists Association (RAJA) to address the matter at Motel Highway-Kyotera today.

 

Isma Ssozi Ssekimpi, the Association President, noted that the matter has been brought up by male and female journalists.

 

Ssekimpi appeals to police to investigate the threats.

 

Mujuzi Badru, the Publicity Secretary of the Association, has advised all affected reporters to take extra precautions.

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