Kyagulanyi's bodyguards assault journalists, damage cameras

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Kyagulanyi's bodyguards assault journalists, damage cameras
Kyagulanyi's bodyguards threaten Ms Zainab Ssengendo during the Lwengo event.

A disturbing incident occurred in Masaka on Saturday, where bodyguards of Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, assaulted several journalists and destroyed their cameras.

The incident took place while Mr Kyagulanyi was attending the burial of the late Pascal Ssekasamba at Manga Village in Kiseka Subcounty in Lwengo District.

Next Media's Zainab Namusaazi Ssengendo was among those physically confronted in the ugly incident.

“I was capturing the arrival of Kyagulanyi when his bodyguards started beating up Margaret Kayondo, a Radio Simba journalist in Masaka," Ms Ssengendo said.

"I told them to stop their it and that is when one of his bodyguards who had a black mask started pulling my leg as he wanted me to fall down in the incident."

Bobi Wine's security head Eddy Mutwe intervened and stopped the rowdy fellas but one of them called Achileo Kivumbi was not done yet, as he yanked off the lens of Ms Ssengendo's camera.

The physical confrontation left some journalists with minor injuries, and there was significant damage to the equipment, including cameras and other recording devices.

Ms Kayondo described the scene as "chaotic and unwarranted".

"We were just doing our job, covering a public event, and suddenly we were under attack," she said.

Mr Kyagulanyi, the president of the National Unity Platform (NUP), has yet to issue a statement regarding the actions of his bodyguards at the burial event.

Achileo Kivumbi targeted Next Media's Zainab Ssengendo and damaged her camera

The Greater Masaka journalist’s association has called for immediate action to be taken against the perpetrators.

"This is a blatant attack on press freedom and the rights of journalists to report freely and safely," said Antonio Kalyango, a member of the fraternity that goes by its acronym, GREMAJA.

"We demand that Kyagulanyi and his team take responsibility for this unacceptable behaviour and ensure that those involved are held accountable."

Kalyango added, “It's really absurd that security agencies are still topping the list of the violators of our rights as journalists, worse still, even those seeking to take over from the sitting regime have already instituted gangs that are ready to harass us, imagine how could the situation be if they hold state power."

He also warned journalists to be prepared for the upcoming 2026 electioneering period, citing increasing attacks and violence against journalists.

Kalyango has called upon the Human Right Network for Journalists to intervene in this matter so that violation of journalists’ rights should stop especially when the country is soon to gear up with 2026 general elections campaigns.

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