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Radio reporter beaten to death

(HRNJ-Uganda/IFEX) - Rakai, 12 September 2010 - Commercial motor bikers in the Rakai district, locally known as bodabodas, beat Top Radio correspondent Paul Kiggundu to death.

Kiggundu joined the Masaka-based Top Radio eight months ago as an area correspondent for the Rakai district in Southern Buganda.

The bikers pounced on Kiggundu when he was recording scenes of the demolition of the homestead of a suspected motorbike thief, Frank Kagayi, whom they also accused of killing their fellow biker Sengooba Eddie.

Eddie was hired by two men on 9 September and his body was later found dumped in the village of Ntovu, in Nkenge Parish, Kasaali sub-county, in the Rakai district. On 11 September, police in Kasensero arrested two suspects, Kagayi and an individual named Muwonge. They were in possession of Eddie's motorbike. Kagayi and Muwonge confessed to having commited the murder and robbery.

It was on this basis that Sengooba's fellow bikers descended on Kagayi's home and razed it to the ground. They attacked Kiggundu, suspecting him of spying for the police in the area. Despite his efforts to identify himself as a journalist, they beat Kiggundu until he was comatose. He died before he could be rushed to the Kalisizo government hospital for emergency treatment after the area health centre referred him there. "This incident is condemnable; injustice cannot be used to obtain justice," HRNJ-Uganda Board Chairman Robert Ssempala said.

As a journalist rights organisation, HRNJ-Uganda condemns in the strongest terms possible this act committed by individuals who tooK the law into their own hands.

HRNJ-Uganda demands that the police act quickly to apprehend and bring all the perpetrators to justice.

Kiggundu is survived by his wife and four children.
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