Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three journalists working for the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC), a driver and a Ministry of Health (MOU) communication officer have this morning been released on Police bond. NBS television journalist Solomon Sserwanja has also handed himself in to police.
The journalists who include: Godfrey Badyebe, Rashid Kaweesa and Kasim Muhammad, as well as their driver Shadow Kisaame were detained yesterday at Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala together with NBS television journalist Solomon Sserwanja’s wife Vivian Nakaliika, a Communication officer with the Ministry of Health.
This morning, a team comprising of the Chief Executive Officer NBS TV Kin Kaliisa and a representative from the BBC Nairobi Bureau and Human Rights lawyer Ladislus Rwakafuzi went to CPS to try and secure bond for the suspects.
At around 10:00am, detectives led by the Officer in charge Criminal Investigations Joshua Tusingwire agreed to release them on bond as investigations into alleged illegal possession of classified drugs continues.
According to the Chairman Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), Robert Ssempala the suspects have been asked to report back on bond on 18th February 2019.
“They have told us that investigations are still on going but we were prepared for anything,” said Ssempala who was one of the three to stand surety before the release. The NBS TV Chief Executive Officer Kin Kaliisa and journalist Raymond Mujuni were the others to stand surety for the group.
It is alleged that detectives and operatives of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) found several boxes of Malaria and Hepatitis B vaccine medicine in Solomon and Vivian Sserwanja’s home in Mukono during the search.
Preliminary information indicates that Godfrey Badyebe and Kasim Muhammad were the first to be arrested on Wednesday together with their driver Shafiq Kisame from Makindye where they were allegedly meeting two medical officers who were meant to sell to them more drugs.
The three were first taken to a safe house from where they were interrogated until they revealed that they had been working on a documentary and had bought various drugs from the black market across the country and that they were at Sserwanja’s home.
On Thursday Kaweesa Rashid also of the BBC was arrested basing on information got from the first group to be arrested and so was Sserwanja’s wife after her house was searched and the exhibits recovered. Sserwanja is still wanted and on the run.