The trial of Former Old Kampala Division Police Commander Joram Mwesigye resumed on Wednesday with the accused telling Buganda Road Court that all the charges that were preferred against him in relation to assaulting WBS Journalist Andrew Lwanga, are false.
Mwesigye also denied the allegation that he is the one who damaged Lwanga’s Camera and that of New Vision journalist Joseph Ssetimba whose trousers were also torn.
During his unsworn defence before Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu, Mwesigye told court that he arrested Lwanga and five others on January 12, 2015 at Florina bar and guest house along Namirembe Road, during a demonstration by the unemployed youths, who had first gathered at JEEMA Offices in Mengo that morning.
He said that as he police dispersed the rowdy youths “who were causing a lot of tension and inciting the public to join them as they face off with IGP Kale Kayihura, they could not differentiate a journalist from the youths.”
He said that during arrest there was a scuffle and that someone might have injured him in the process but not him the then DPC, because he too fell down and injured his arms and legs.
Mwesigye further testified that it’s at Old Kampala Police Station where the suspects had been taken, that Lwanga complained of not feeling well and that’s how he ended up in Mulago Hospital.
He said he has since apologized to Lwanga and made attempts to talk to him in a bid to reconcile but before he could engage Lwanga and his employer, he was arrested.
The former DPC maintains he has no grudge with journalists but he was shocked and disappointed on the turn of events “yet I had done my work diligently.”
The matter has been adjourned to January 5, 2017 for further hearing of Mwesigye’s witnesses, with the magistrate calling on both parties to explore an out of court settlement “because there is still room between now and the Day of Judgment.”