National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and reporters who injured in February 17 incident at UN human rights office in Kololo, Kampala have identified the UPDF officer who commanded the operation.
Military Police officers descended on reporters and beat them, leaving some with injuries.
Those attacked included John Cliffe Wamala and Jeff Twesigye of NTV Uganda, Josephine Namakumbi and Joseph Sabiti of NBS, Rashid Nakayi of Galaxy FM, Vision Group’s Timothy Murungi and Irene Abalo of Daily Monitor.
A day later, Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi apologized to the media, promised to punish the rogue officers, and to foot the injured’ reporters’ medical bills.
Hours later, seven UPDF officers were arraigned before a disciplinary court (the Unit Disciplinary Court – UDC) and sentenced.
These were: Capt Jessy Odwenyi, Cpl Justine Nimusiima, Pte Peter Wasswa, Pte Imran Tsame, Pte Victoria Kisakye, Pte Isaac Opiyo and L/cpl Kassim Zirimenya.
Court chaired by Lt Col Gai Mpandwa sentenced Capt Odwenyi, Pte Tsame and Pte Wasswa to 90 days, L/Cpl Zirimenya to 60 days, Pte Kisakye 62 days, and Pte Opiyo 60 days in detention at Makindye Military Barracks. The same court sentenced Nimusiima to severe reprimand.
But Bobi Wine and some reporters say Lt Col Napoleone Kyabihende Namanya, the director of operations at the Military Police, commanded the the attack on journalists.
These further claim that Lt Col Namanya was also the officer that commanded the dispersal of Bobi Wine’s rally in Kalangala in December 2020 during which the NUP leader’s supporters were arrested.
Bobi also claims Namanya was involved in a shooting at Kasubi Tombs on March 16, 2010.
He has wondered why this commander was left out.
“When the military paraded soldiers that they claim to have beaten journalists, I did not see Namanya. This should teach everyone that in Uganda today, some people commit crimes while others pay for the crimes,” said Bobi Wine.
An explanation offered by deputy army spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki suggested that there were different layers of command, and Namanya was not directly involved.