NBS TV’s investigative reporter, Solomon Sserwanja plus his wife’s Vivian Sserwanja who works at the Ministry of Health and three other Journalists have been freed on police bond.
The three journalists Godfrey Badebye, Shafiq Kisame, Rashid Kisame, and Vivian Nakaliika were nabbed for illegally acquiring government drugs allegedly recovered from Sserwanja home situated in Mukono.
Solomon Sserwanja has too appeared at CPS Kampala and recorded a statement and was thereafter, released on police bond. Sserwanja and the three journalist have reportedly been investigating corruption and sell of government drugs in various private health facilities.
According to Ministry of Health, Serwanjja earlier informed them about the investigations however, they denounced any involvement in the journalists work.
Speaking at central police station (CPS) Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said the force is aware of the important role the media plays in investigative reporting, debates, discussion, background and analysis, as well as new stories, not withstanding their journalistic duty to obey the ordinary criminal law in the course of their duties, and we highly commend them for their tireless efforts in fighting corruption.
“We would like to further acknowledge that Next Media in partnership with local correspondents from the BBC, while working on a tip, independently planned and carried out their operations surrounding the illegal sell of government drugs in selected government hospitals in Arua, Gulu and Kirudu,” he said
He said, it is clear that their motive was to show how easy it was to buy government drugs and its conduit and encouraged them to continue with their documentary programme and achieve their intended objective of exposing their targets, to help prevent such occurrences in future.
“The police has created a task team which is building further on the available facts on file, to establish the culprits behind the alleged theft and sale of government drugs, in these government hospitals and will ensure all suspects that are criminally liable are brought to book,” He said.
CP Enanga said they are closely working with the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution for legal guidance on as to whether the journalists mentioned above, in their quest for a story of essential importance to society could have breached any rules on the acquisition of government drugs and its safety considerations or not.
Speaking at his temporary release, Serwanjja said this has been his the longest week of his entire life. “I have been scared and worried since the arrest of my colleagues. That night, my wife told me they had surrounded the house. I told her not to open until our lawyers came in the morning,”.
“I feel bad my wife was dragged into this. It is not fair. It is also very dangerous for her especially since she is the Ministry of Health spokesperson. I am worried about her job and safety,” he said CPS.