Reporters Without Borders deplores journalist Paul Kiggundu’s murder by a crowd of angry motorcyclists in the southern town of Rakai on 10 September. The correspondent of Top Radio and several TV stations, he was beaten to death when spotted filming their attack on a suspect’s home.
“We are deeply shocked by this barbaric behaviour that resulted in the death of a journalist who as at the scene just to cover what was going on,” Reporters Without Borders said. “His murder could have been avoided if the crowd had taken the time to identify him.”
The press freedom organisation added: “This incident highlights the frequency to which journalists are exposed to violence because they are on the front line of demonstrations, conflicts or events that get out of control and are seen as unwanted witnesses. We urge the Ugandan authorities to deal severely with those responsible, so that such incidents do not recur.”
The events of 10 September began when dozens of motorcyclists gathered to protest against the previous day’s murder of fellow-motorcyclist Eddie Sengooba. They went to the home of a suspect in the murder and began to attack it, but turned on Kiggundu when they saw he was filming them. Accusing him of gathering evidence for the police, they beat him unconscious despite his attempts to explain that he was a journalist. He died while being taken to hospital.
The police are investigating but district police chief Alex Twebaze told Reporters Without Borders that so far no arrests have been made.