The international Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned in the strongest terms the barbaric murder of freelance journalist, Paul Kiggundu, a correspondent for Top Radio, in Rakai District, Southern Buganda. Paul Kiggundu was beaten to death on Saturday, 11 September 2010 by a mob by commercial cyclists locally known as Bodabodas.
“We strongly condemn the atrocious murder of this colleague whose was only doing his duty in gathering information,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office. “The brutal attack of the mob must be met with the full force of the law. The authorities must ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.”
According to the Uganda Union of Journalists (UJU), an IFJ affiliate, the cyclists were looking for Frank Kagayi, whom they suspected have robbed and murdered their colleague, Sengooba Eddie. The Police in Kasensero arrested on Saturday 11 September Frank Kagayi, who confessed the murder and robbery.
Tthe cyclists descended on Kagayi’s home and destroyed it. While covering the demolition, Kiggundu was immediately pounced upon by the mob, who accused him of ostensibly recording the action to be used by the police as evidence. Despite identifying himself as a journalist, the mob continued to brutalise him. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Kiggundu was married and had two children aged three years and 18 months.
In a statement sent out today, the Ugandan Journalist’s Union (UJU) called upon the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) condemned the killing as most disturbing and barbaric. “This is both sad and annoying given that the journalist had already identified himself, and meant no harm at all to the mob. His interest was just in getting a story and nothing more. This is yet another waste of a journalist’s life in our region. When shall we stop killing journalists? We send our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Kiggundu,” said Omar Faruk Osman, EAJA General Secretary.
The IFJ calls on the Ugandan authorities to conduct quickly an investigation to identify and punish severely the perpetrators of this barbaric crime in order to set precedent in deterring future attacks on journalists. “Impunity must not be encouraged especially near now that the country is entering electoral periods,” added Baglo.
For more information contact the IFJ at +221 33 867 95 87
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide