Six journalists were injured in attacks in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, while they were covering the mayoral elections at a polling station on Wednesday. The assailants are believed to be supporters of Peter Ssematimba, the candidate for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
The journalists were attacked by a mob armed with sticks with nails and stones as they tried to report on Peter Ssematimba casting his vote at the Kakeeka polling station. Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), an organisation working for journalists’ safety in Uganda, said the attacks on the journalists were aimed at covering up inconsistencies in the polling
“These attacks on the journalists are reprehensible. The allegations that they were attacked for covering election irregularities must be investigated rigorously,” said IPI Director Alison Bethel McKenzie.
HRNJ reported that two journalists working for the television station, Channel 44, were amongst the media personnel injured. Brian Nsimbe, a reporter, sustained an arm injury, while cameraman Nixon Bbaale was cut on the head.
Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Uganda on 18 February, with the incumbent President Yoweri Mouseveni victorious. The recent attacks are the latest in a long series of attacks on the media in Uganda that has seen the government come under fire from international media and human rights watchdogs.