Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Africa: Ugandan crime reporter fears for his life after attempted break-in


Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda

A Uganda Radio Network (URN) journalist, Tom Malaba, fears for his life following a number of security incidents, including one where two unidentified men attacked his home during the night, prompting the police to fire several times. Maloba – who has been in journalism for close to two decades – is a crime reporter who writes on Rwandese refugee issues and education. URN is a news agency which has over 50 subscribing radio stations.

Maloba, 41 years of age, told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) that unidentified men have been trailing him for the last two weeks right from his place of work to his home. On 30 June 2013, two unidentified men managed to enter his compound at about 2:30 am and tried to enter the house. “My wife woke me up when she heard suspicious movements outside. When I peeped through the window, I saw a man dressed in black who was shortly joined by another. They had contained my dog. So I called the police, [who] responded instantly and fired as the suspects freed,” he narrated to HRNJ-Uganda.

“[I] am so scared for my life and family because I know this is a well-planned move, since I have been followed at home, [the] office, and the taxi park. I know they want my life,” he added. URN is a news agency which has over 50 subscribing radio stations.

The officer in charge of the Nalumunye police post, Byansi Mohamed Rashid, said that he fired several times to repulse the suspects, “I saw them physically, one of them was trying to open the window, while another kept watching. They were two; one was putting on a black t-shirt and another grey shirt. We are going to investigate the matter,” he told HRNJ-Uganda.

Malaba said that the security incidents have escalated since 25 June, when unidentified men tried to intercept him at night as left his workplace in Bukoto – a suburb of Kampala.

On 26 June, two other men tried to intercept him at the taxi park in Kampala. That night, he identified a suspicious man around his home in Nalumunye (in the Wakiso district). Later in the night, Maloba claims that a suspicious car drove and parked at his residence gate, but later left.