The High Court in Kampala has ordered two journalists to compensate a deputy registrar who assaulted them to a tune of shs10 million.
Journalists Eric Yiga and Hannington Kisakye who are reporters for Salt Media and Smart 24 Television respectively were assaulted by Fred Waninda, the former Commercial Court Acting Registrar in charge of Planning, Performance and Development breaking their equipment.
However, when the journalists dragged Waninda to court, Justice Andrew Bashaija dismissed the case prompting the journalists’ tormentor to file an application for costs.
The High Court judge ruled that assaulting journalists is not a human rights violation.
On Wednesday, Alex Mushabe Karooho, the acting assistant registrar of the Civil Division of the High Court ordered the two journalists to pay shs10.8 million to Waninda as damages and costs in the torture and assault case they lost against him
“The summation of shs8 million is allowed. Resultantly, the respondents bill of costs is therefore taxed and allowed at shs10.8 million,” Karooho ruled.
Speaking shortly after the ruling, UJA lawyer Eron Kiiza who also represented the two journalists said there is still hope in the appeal, adding that he is in the process of applying to have the stay of execution of the order.
“This is part of what human rights advocates go through while fighting those in big and high offices who violate human rights with impunity,”Kiiza said
The UJA Secretary for Media Safety and Human Rights, Arnold Anthony Mukose noted that no amount of intimidation would break their resolve to fight for the rights and freedoms of their colleagues.