Security forces Sunday targeted three journalists covering presidential campaigns at Kyabakuza in Masaka District, Uganda,, attacking them using teargas and rubber bullets and leaving them with injuries.
The injured journalists are Mr Ali Mivule of NTV, Mr Ashraf Kasirye (Ghetto TV) and Mr Daniel Lutaaya (NBS TV).
Mr Mivule said the day started on a good note, with National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, attending prayers at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church at Kitovu early in the morning.
Bobi Wine was to campaign in Lwengo, Bukomansimbi and Mpigi districts.
“When he reached Kyabakuza, he found police had erected barriers in the middle of the road. Security personnel directed his car to a feeder road, which they rejected,” Mr Mivule said.
He said the security officers then started firing teargas.
“Kasirye was hit by a projectile on the head. He started bleeding profusely. At first, I thought he had died. I went out to take videos using my phone,” Mr Mivule said.
The journalists said that as he was filming the scene, an officer without pips came and ordered him to move away.
“I didn’t know he was a senior officer because he had no pips. I later identified him as Enock Abaine. All of a sudden, he pulled out a gun that is used to fire rubber bullets and cocked it before pointing it at me,” Mr Mivule said.
He said he pleaded for his life to be spared but the officer had already taken a decision.
“He shot me in the thigh at close range. I felt a lot of pain and attempted to escape and at the same time seek protection from Field Force Unit commander, Mr Police Mukiibi,” Mr Mivule said.
He said Mr Mukiibi told him to run to the car but the officer pursued him before he could reach the car and cocked the gun again.
“This prompted ASP Mukiibi and a Special Forces Command officer to intervene to physically stop him from shooting me. After he had been restrained, he ordered other officers to cock their guns which they did, but spared my life,” Mr Mivule said.
The journalist said he managed to enter the car and was taken to hospital where he was treated and a scan on the affected part of his body done.
“The doctors told me that I only suffered external damages. I was discharged,” he said.
Mr Lutaaya was shot by security officers while trailing Bobi Wine in the same area and was admitted to hospital.
Mr Kasirye, who was badly injured, was later transferred to a city hospital.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the incidents against the journalists are under investigation.