Freelance journalist beaten to death in Uganda

Nairobi, September 13, 2010Motorcycle taxi drivers beat freelance journalist Paul Kiggundu to death Saturday evening, local journalists told CPJ. The drivers, commonly known as boda-boda, attacked Kiggundu while he was filming some of them demolishing a house in a town outside of Kalisizio, southwest Uganda.

Local journalists told CPJ that the drivers were destroying the house of another driver, Frank Kagayi, who they accused of committing murder and robbery. The drivers accused Kiggundu of working for the police, even though he had identified himself as a journalist, a bystander told the Ugandan Human Rights Journalist Network. Kiggundu died of internal bleeding before he could receive treatment at Kalisizo Government Hospital. Police are investigating the murder, although no arrests have been made, local journalists told CPJ.

“CPJ sends its deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Paul Kiggundu,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. “We call on the Ugandan police to do their utmost to bring these perpetrators to justice. No journalist should be killed simply for carrying out their profession.”

Kiggundu had worked for the past eight months as a contributor to the private, Christian-faith based TOP (Tower of Praise) Radio and TV. The station broadcasts 24 hours in Lugandan across the country.

Kuggundu was buried Sunday, leaving behind a wife and two children, aged 3 years and 18 months, local journalists told CPJ.