Seeking to Creatively Document Life’s Passing Moments, One Shot at a Time
Kampala, 12th/May/2011, Ugandan journalists have slapped a boycott on government activities over the 14 journalists who were physically attacked while covering the return of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Dr. Kiiza Besigye. More than a dozen of journalists have been physically attacked including being shot, intimidated, arbitrarily arrested and detained, restrictions imposed on their movements and assaulted since the ‘Walk to Work’ campaign begun
The Walk to Work campaign is an initiative of opposition political parties and activists protesting high fuel and commodity prices.
In the media stakeholders’ crisis meeting organized by Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) at Grand Imperial hotel Kampala, journalists under their six organizations condemned the increasing violence against frontline journalists on duty by security apparatus
Article 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda states that “No person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”
Organizations namely; Uganda News Paper Publishers’ and Editors Association, Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, Uganda Journalists Association, Uganda Parliamentary Press Association, Uganda Media Development Foundation and Editors’ Forum unanimously agreed that the right to press freedom and freedom of expression were under attack.
Journalists observed that attacks are systematic which are intended to destroy evidence of abuses committed by military police against civilians and majority journalists were barred from accessing Entebbe International Airport on both 11th and 12th/May/2011.
Mulindwa Mukasa a reporter with Wavah Broadcasting Service (WBS) TV is one of the victims who sustained injuries on his left arm. He testified that he was assaulted before his camera was forcefully confiscated while filming anti riot and military police dispersing Dr. Besigye’s supporters using live ammunition and tear-gas.
Several photojournalists’ equipments were confiscated by both military police and Uganda Police Force. These include, Joseph Mary Buule a reporter with a state owned television Uganda Broadcasting Service (UBC), Stephen Otage a photojournalist with the Daily Monitor, a freelance journalist Francis Tumwekwasize, Ayebare Allan a photojournalist with the Razor new paper, Michael Kakumirizi a photojournalist with the Red pepper. He sustained a big cut on his head, Eddie Ssejjoba a photo journalists with the New Vision, Robert Mutebi a photojournalist with Bukedde News Paper and Luswa Anatooli a photojournalist with Eddoboozi news paper
Other journalists who were assaulted are Mercy Nalugo a reporter with the Daily Monitor, Gideon Tugume a reporter with Capital fm, Simon Njala Kagwa a reporter with radio One, Nasser Kayanja a reporter with radio Simba lost his recorder.
Journalists unanimously resolved to blackout all press conferences at government manned Uganda Media Center, activities of the police and the Uganda People’s Defence Force
Uganda Media Center is the government’s mouthpiece and organizes press conferences for all government departments.
Journalists are set to petition president Museveni on Monday the 16th/May/2011 demanding for immediate release of all journalists’ tools of trade and replacement of all damaged equipment’s.
Other demands include;
– Immediate investigation and prosecution of errant officers both in military police, Uganda Police Force and other security agencies
– An apology to the media fraternity and members of the public whose right to be informed and to know were infringed upon.
– An assurance from government that press freedom and freedom of expression will be enjoyed fully as per the Constitution, regional and international conventions and treaties
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni this morning officially started his fourth term in office as President of The Republic of Uganda.
He has been in power for the last 25 years having fought his way through the gun to the throne.
His swearing in however was largely over shadowed by violence that rocked the return of opposition leader Kizza Besigye .
One person was reportedly shot to death.
As chaos dominated Entebbe road, I was at Kololo Airstrip documenting a rather calm but historical and colorful function. Here is my account.
I copied this from the KQ official facebook page about the Kizza Besigye return saga:
Kenya Airways would like to confirm to its passengers, customers, investors and the public that Ugandan Opposition Leader Dr. Kizza Besigye is now scheduled to depart on KQ414/11th May departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for Entebbe International Airport at 1750hrs.
Dr. Besigye was earlier denied boarding on KQ 410/11th May at 0800hrs following information from Kenya Airways internal intelligence sources that the aircraft would not be allowed to land at the Entebbe International Airport if he was on board. Dr. Besigye thus could not board the aircraft as Kenya Airways had to first ascertain this information without inconveniencing the other passengers destined for Entebbe.
The airline has now confirmed and issued Dr. Besigye and his wife tickets to depart Nairobi this the evening. The airline takes earliest opportunity to apologize to Dr. Besigye for any inconveniences caused.
Group Managing Director and CEO
Here are some of the comments:
Ignatius Ochanjo You broke the law. Period. You know Besigye is a Ugandan and there is no law either in kenya or international you can cite to support his detention.
Martin Gicheru Ignatius Ochanjo what law would make the Ugangan Govt allow KQ flight to land? Its their country. Am with KQ on this, there isnt much they could do. We both know that Entebbe airport is not private but Govt owned
Cindy Sweet Hw can this prestigious firm tarnish the gd name of Kenya?????, y do u want to put us in Jeopardy with our neighbours? Peace loving Ugandns were waiting for him!!!!!!
Sevy Sev So how do they Land without landing rights..even if he went @ 3am…be realistic…the airline operates in uganda under the Uganda Government LAWS…its not like the boda boda
Bernard Omondi Am with KQ on this one! They are unfortunately caught in the middle of Museveni’s greed and Besigye. Don’t even bother apologizing to Besigye. Your concern is for the passengers and if one passenger causes any concern to the others safety, that 1 must be let go off the plane. KQ – The Pride of Africa!
Police has fired pinks substance to disperse opposition supporters who were walking to Constitutional Square for a rally.
The assumption is that, the pink spray helps Police to identify those involved in the riots/demonstrations
Olara Otunnu, party president to Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) according to the latest tweets on the situation has retreated back to Uganda House, the party’s headquarters. So has Norbert Mao, party president for Democratic Party (DP).
The very latest is that Norbert Mao and Sam Lubega, both former presidential candidates in the just concluded elections have been arrested and are in detention at CPS
Here are the latest tweets on the “pink stuff”
“Has anyone touched the anti-riot pink foam? The pics don’t tell me much… #walk2work-…..yolorenz
“According to Google, pink dye is added to water and sprayed on rioters to help police identify them easily after. Aya! #walk2work” ….Nataabalo
Uganda women’s civil society organizations have joined the band wagon in condemning the excessive use of force in quelling the “Walk to Work” protests over the past one month by security agencies.
Over 10 women organizations among others, URINET, UWONET, FOWODE joined hands and walked from Kiira road playing ground, through Kamwokya, Yusuf Lule road, John Bahiiha Avenue and back to the starting point at Kiira road.
“We, the Women in Civil Society would like to condemn the brutality and highhandness exhibited by security agencies as they sought to quell demonstrations under the “walk to work” campaign,” a joint report read. “We deeply mourn the subsequent loss of lives, injury of persons, degrading treatment of those arrested and destruction of property that ensure in the mayhem.”
The women dressed in white, signifying peace, carried placards and empty sauce pans as well.
“We are carrying empty saucepans because we no longer have the money to buy food,” Achiro Ritah, Executive Director UWONET said.
The women expressed profound disappointment with government’s indifference, exhibited by the lack of urgent action to curb the situation and apparent disregard of pressing priorities in allocation of governance expenditure.
Among other things they demanded were: Express solidarity with women, men and children suffering from the high food and fuel prices, no more use of live ammunition, indiscriminate physical assault on civilians, promote fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in Chap 4 of the constitution, address social and economic issues, address food security, unemployment, health and education
The power of social media is enormous.
Once it bursts, saving it is quite impossible. Facebook, Twitter and blogs have shaped Ugandan politics in past few weeks.
As government tries to impede information flow, social forums have been the only avenues through which Ugandans have been flowered with information. True or false.
Therefore my gratitude goes to all the journos (local/foreign) who celebrated World Press Freedom Day with a drink up at The Heights– Centenary Park. Uganda’s celebrated journos were in attendance: Daniel Kalinaki, Barbara Among…and James Akena who got a toss for his exclusive “Hammer man” photos that were splashed on the Daily Monitor’sfront pages.
It’s then that I realized my blog outwits me as a celebrity. Reactions like, “Oooh! So you are the guy behind Echwalu Photography?” were very common.
I met James Akena. For me, Uganda’s best photographer. He showered me with praises I couldn’t contain. It was such a fulfilling moment meeting someone you have looked to for years.
Now he’s a colleague at Reuters. If you asked me this a few years ago, it would take me a while to give you an answer!
That aside, I covered the Ugandan Law Society handing over a petition to Uganda’s Chief Justice, protesting the excessive use of force by Police/Military and other security agencies to curb down food and fuel price protests.
About 200 lawyers accused security agencies of committing crimes against humanity.
In the petition, the lawyers have also questioned the independence of the judiciary referring to the way the Mengo’s Chief Magistrate; Philip Odoki conducted the vote recount even with a High Court injunction on the exercise.
While everyone focused on Gilbert Arinaitwe the man who brutally arrested opposition leader Kizza Besigye, a second controversial face has been unveiled.
Kirunda Kiveijinja, Internal Affairs Minister last week said Kizza Besigye’s arrest was warranted, the fact that he sprayed a policeman with pepper spray and also used a hammer to scare away policemen.
In his own words: “At this time, a senior police officer approached the left window of Dr. Besigye’s car urging him to drive off. The officer was sprayed with a can of pepper spray by one of the associates of Dr. Besigye who was seated with him in the car.
“He and his group in the car had clear intentions to do harm to the police. This was exemplified by the equipment of the pepper spray used by one of his aides to spray the eyes of the police officer while he, himself was handling a hammer threatening police with words, “I will hammer you,” said Kirunda Kiveijinja.
Plane clothed security men started breaking into Kizza Besigye’s car before the hammer fell inside. He must have been irritated by these actions. So he picked the hammer and tried to defend himself from these uncompromising security men.
It’s time the discussions are taken forward towards exposing culprit number two: THE HAMMER MAN.
I apologize for not updating as soon as the events unfolded I was extremely busy yesterday hardly sleeping at all. But well, better late than never!
As you might already know, a number of people were injured and killed by gun wielding military men who were shooting like they were having a practice.
Kizza Besigye, the opposition leader for Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was again arrested for the fourth time in as many days. This time, it was brutal. Brutal. Brutal….He was later released with no charge.
We go through a tough time as photographers to record events as they happen. Sometimes you even get emotional and sometimes you don’t.
These are assignments i find very exciting because it provides an opportunity to record not just historical images but events too. Today however, I got little bit emotional and sympathetic to Besigye and his supporters.
They were arrested in a manner I thought was quite inhumane. Remember what our constitutional says about such treatment.
“No person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment,” Article 24, Constitution of the Republic of Uganda
|hanningtonprpractiti… on FGM in Uganda: illegal by law,…|
|Edward Echwalu -Phot… on Raw Emotions As Uganda Qualifi…|
|Edward Echwalu -Phot… on Raw Emotions As Uganda Qualifi…|
|Edward Echwalu -Phot… on Raw Emotions As Uganda Qualifi…|
All Images published here are property of Edward Echwalu unless where indicated.
They may NOT be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Edward Echwalu.
Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.