Kenya: Journalists become heroes against police brutality in Kenya, Uganda

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Journalists become heroes of humanity in Kenya and Uganda this week in the wake of police operations against those protesting plans by the Ugandan parliament to remove the age limit to allow President Yoweri Museveni unfettered access to power and at the Kenyan Supreme Court.

According to the NTV Uganda, a private television owned by the Nation Media Group in Kenya, Aaron Mukama, a news reporter, threw down his camera and rushed to the rescue of a Makerere University student who was chocked by teargas during protests in Kampala on Friday.

The students had gone to a Police station to demand the release of colleagues arrested earlier during the protests against Ugandan Parliament’s plans to remove the age limit barring President Museveni from running for office in 2021 on account of his age.

The heroic rescue of the first-year university student at the Makerere University appears to have been inspired by the action of Kenyan journalist Victor Muyakane, who works for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), the state broadcaster.

Muyakane braved stings of bees when everyone else scampered for safety, including the anti-riot Police, to rescue a physically disabled street beggar who was besieged by bees as the Supreme Court sat in Nairobi Wednesday, to deliver its ruling on the nullification of the Presidential elections.

Earlier, the riot Police had used teargas canisters to separate two rival political camps outside the Supreme Court, which is believed to have rattled bees forming a hive in one of the security surveillance camera posts along the city street, stinging the battery of journalists and scaring the riot Police.

Most of the riot Police and their commanders were shown on television footage running to the safety of their vehicles while the journalist alone carried the street beggar away from the sting of bees.

The action of the two journalists is a subject of debate amongst media practitioners on whether journalists in the line of duty should save lives at risk first or pay attention to covering the story.

Mukama reportedly spotted the female university student chocking and fainting from his camera lenses before offering to resuscitate and immediately rush her to hospital in the company vehicle.

The actions of the reporters on the frontline tend to act as a deterrent to Police use of excessive force in the full glare of cameras and in the execution of arbitrary arrest of politicians and activists.

Attempts to seize Ugandan lawmaker Robert Ssentamu, known by his music stage name Bobi Wine, appeared to have been thwarted by the presence of a huge crowd and television cameras when he arrived at Entebbe on Friday from an official mission to the US to discuss democracy in Uganda.

Ssentamu was sought by Police for an interrogation in response to an audio recording asking Ugandans to reject attempts to remove the constitutional age limit to allow Museveni to continue in power.

Police in Uganda stormed the offices of Action Aid on 20 Sept, claiming to have received information that the civil society organisation was planning to destabilize Uganda ahead of the age limit debate.

A Police Spokesman Asan Kasingye said in a statement Friday that Action Aid was going beyond their mandate and were being used by individuals intending to destabilize Uganda.

Police also arrested Kampala Mayor Elias Lukwago, claiming he contravened the orders of the Police Inspector-General, banning public demonstrations and urging citizens to discuss the age limit ban on television stations and indoor arena and not through outdoor assemblies, according to Kasingye.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 23Sept.2017



23 Setembro 2017 11:46:12




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