Arua Chaos: NTV Accuses Military, Police of Torturing Reporter Herbert Zziwa, Cameraman Ronald Muwanga
NTV: Military Physically Assaulted Herbert Zziwa and Ronald Muwanga
NTV Uganda has issued a statement on the arrest and hours of detention of reporter Herbert Zziwa and cameraman Ronald Muwanga.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, NTV Uganda said the reporters were “violently arrested” at around 7:55pm on Monday while covering the Arua Municipality byelection campaign rallies.
The arresting officers were “armed men in miltary fatigues, according the media station’s statement.
NTV further notes that Zziwa and Muwanga were arrested “while reporting live on air”.
Herbert Zziwa and Ronald Muwanga Torture Claims
“They were taken to an unidentified place and physically assaulted repeatedly,” wrote NTV in a statement.
“They were later transferred into detention at Arua Central Police Station and at around 2am driven to Gulu Police Station some 250 kilometers away.”
NTV also accused the military of “torture and unjustified detention”.
Zziwa and Muwanga have since been charged with inciting violence and damaging property following last night’s chaos in which a driver to emerging political figure Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine was killed.
Driver Yasin Kawuma was shot by suspected police and special forces command (SFC) officers after chaos pitting Bobi Wine of the camp of Kassiano Wadri, the former Terego County MP, now seeking to replace slain MP Ibrahim Abiriga as Arua Municipality representative to Uganda’s parliament.
Bobi Wine’s fans and Wadri’s supporters had reportedly pelted stones at the convoy of president Museveni before security officers opened fire, killing Kawuma.
Museveni, who doubles as the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairperson, was in Arua to campaign for party candidate Nusura Tiperu.
Voting is expected to take place on Wednesday despite Monday’s chaos.
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima has assured voters of security in the August 15 poll.
Meanwhile, Zziwa and Muwanga are expected back in Gulu on Friday after being released on bond.
NTV and the Ugandan journalism fraternity can only hope that the military and the state will realize that #JournalismIsNotaCrime.