By Ruth Anderah
The Uganda People’s Defense Forces has asked the High Court in Kampala to allow them to settle out of Court the case in which a city lawyer Steven Kalali sued the government on behalf of journalists who were battered at UN offices in Kampala.
These were covering former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi who had taken his petition challenging human rights violations in the country.
According to Kalali, on the fateful day of February 17th, military police officers descended on journalists who were performing their lawful duties and beat them indiscriminately injuring many of them.
He named Henry Ssekanjako and Timothy Murungi from Vision group, NTV’s Cliff Wamala, and NBS TV’s Josephine Namakumbi as some of the journalists who were injured by the officers.
As such, Kalali noted that previously, the agents of government have violated the constitutional articles guaranteeing freedom of the press and also infringed on the journalist’s right to practice their profession.
Kalali thus asked the court to issue orders restraining government security agencies permanently from acting with impunity, malice, and interfering with the rights of all media houses and journalists in the peaceful pursuit of their work as well as an order for damages.
However, the government which was being represented by State Attorney Brian Musota asked to be allowed to settle the matter out of court saying there is a reconciliation process between the two parties.
Musota made his submission while appearing before the Assistant Registrar of High Court Civil Division Agnes Alum who adjourned the case to June 14th, on behalf of the trial judge Boniface Wamala who was away attending a workshop.