Veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda has expressed his disappointment in the way that journalists have melodramatically complained about the way police and other security forces treat them while performing their duties.
The “Old Man of the Clan” made the remarks a day after Police and Military brutalised journalists who were covering National Unity Platform (NUP) president as he delivered his petition against gross human rights abuses to the United Nations Human Rights Commission yesterday.
According to Mwenda, there is nothing new about Police and Military brutalising people irrespective of their profession as this is the NRM government’s characterist style of doing things.
He however, expressed his dissatisfaction in the way the news and development partners made the beating of journalists a big deal yet the police and militayr has been brutalising people from time immemorial.
According to Mwenda, Ugandan Journalists seem to demand for a special kind of treatment, not to be brutalised alongside other Ugandans and to be treated as if they are a special category entitled to exemption which is wrong.
“The evening news and some comments from some of our “development partners” made the beating of journalists a big deal. I am a journalist and I run a newspaper but I find it self indulgent for us to make this about us. Ugandan journalists are angry at being terrorized by security forces alongside other citizens as if they are a special category entitled to an exemption.”Andrew Mwenda, Veteran Journalist
Mwenda believes that all kinds of brutality should be condemned irrespective of who has been brutalised and journalists should not demand any kind of special treatment as has been the case.
He also advised the public and the journalists to get used to Museveni’s brutality as it seems to be the only way that he knows how to deal with issues. The issue of who is at the receiving end of this brutality tends to change over time but the brutalizer remains the same.
“The use of violence has been a characteristic feature of NRM from its inception. The issue has always been which group in which region is targeted based on its attitude towards NRM”Andrew Mwenda
Mwenda, who said not in support of the brutality of the state machinery, called on the opposition to manifest a different character from that being manifested by the ruling NRM government otherwise, they will never be entrusted with power to rule the country.