Journalist accuses NRM ruling party official of assault

*Masaka 14th/May/2015*; Edward Bindhe, a Uganda Radio Network (URN)
journalist was on 12th May 2015 assaulted by a senior ruling NRM party
official, Rogers Mulindwa, while he was covering the launch of the NRM
members’ registration exercise in Masaka, officiated by the party Secretary
General Justine Kasule Lumumba.

Bindhe, URN’ Masaka based correspondent told HRNJ-Uganda that prior to his
assault by Mulindwa, the former football governing body -FUFA Uganda’
spokesperson, he was first turned away from covering the event on grounds
that he had no permission. “I gave up and went to the Hotel lounge to do my
other work. As I was accessing my laptop, Rogers Mulindwa entered the Hotel
lounge and asked me, “You, what are you still doing here yet we evicted you
from this place? Who are you?” I identified myself and told him that I was
evicted from the meeting hall but decided to do my other work, since I had
prior commitments at the same hotel.” Bindhe said

“He commanded me to leave the premises immediately, but I refused on
grounds that the hotel was a public. “It’s then that he accused me of being
an opposition FDC party spy. He slapped me and forcefully grabbed my neck
in an attempt to strangle me. He then dragged me by the neck to the hotel
managers and ordered them to ensure that am not seen at the hotel again. In
the process, one of the lenses in my glasses got damaged. I suffered
breathing difficulties as he deeply squeezed my neck.” Bindhe further told
HRNJ-Uganda.

When contacted, Mulindwa denied assaulting the journalist, saying he only
told him to leave if he was not covering the event. “I told him to leave
and he was even wearing a blue shirt and yet it was an NRM event. I never
touched him.” Mulindwa said.

However sources at the hotel confirmed the assault allegations to
HRNJ-Uganda saying that, Rogers Mulindwa beat up the journalist and dragged
him out of the hotel. “He really never had the right to send someone away
from our hotel because it is a public place, where everyone is welcome.”
The anonymous source told HRNJ-Uganda.

Bindhe opened up an assault case against Mulindwa at the Masaka Central
Police Station. Musa Bwambale, the Investigating Officer at the police
station told HRNJ-Uganda that the police are ready to handle the matter.

“This is gross abuse of power by Mulindwa; his party must hold him
accountable. The police should investigate this matter and pursue it to its
logical conclusion.” Said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator, Robert
Ssempala

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