A social media post, claiming that a newly appointed police spokesperson in Uganda attacked a journalist with a catapult, has been doing the rounds of the internet.
In a tweet on Saturday (March 12), a user ([email protected]_CharlesR) alleged, “Newly appointed Uganda police spokesman hits news reporter with a catapult for asking irrelevant question.”
At the time of writing, the post had 22.7K likes and was retweeted 8,265 times.
Another Twitter user (@AdvoBarryRoux) claimed, “Newly appointed Uganda police spokesman hits News reporter with a catapult for asking irrelevant question.”
Newly appointed Uganda police spokesman hits News reporter with a caterpult for asking irrelevant question. pic.twitter.com/1IByYsvnjs— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) March 13, 2022
Similar claims were made by one Ayesha Ali Bhutta on Sunday (March 13).
*Hint Hint*— Ayesha Ali Bhutta (@AyeshaBhutta01) March 13, 2022
“Newly appointed Uganda police spokesman hits News reporter with a caterpult for asking irrelevant question.” pic.twitter.com/X4nhCAJPPn
The Truth behind the viral posts
A popular Kenyan lawyer by the name of Ahmednasir Abdullahi took potshots at the Uganda police, based on the viral social media posts. While reiterating the same allegation that a Ugandan spokesperson hit a journalist with a weapon, he had tweeted, “Our neighbours.”
The Official Twitter handle of the Uganda Police Force (@PoliceUg) labelled his claims as ‘fake news.’ Abdullahi was thus forced to delete his tweet. “Great…will delete it…great that you are proactive!…and pass my regards,” he posted in another tweet.
The man, who is seen in the viral photograph with a catapult, is Ugandan police force spokesperson Fred Enaga. And the image has been taken from the video of a press briefing, which was conducted in April last year.
Fred Enaga was seen cautioning the public about the emergence of gangs who targeted civilians with catapults. “You do like this and you target somebody. So you can see how dangerous this thing is,” the police spokesperson said while pulling the catapult.
“They are very dangerous because they are capable of firing metallic and credible projectiles or metallic bearings,” he had warned.
“Uganda police is investigation about a criminal gang trading terror activities using catapults to destabilize the country. While addressing the media in the weekly brief, the spokesperson of police Fred Enanga says some suspects are already apprehended as police is tracing for the rest,” reported Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC).
Thus, an attempt by the Ugandan police force to raise public awareness about the rise of a criminal gang last year was misrepresented as an attack on a journalist by a ‘new’ police spokesperson or asking ‘irrelavent question’. As such, the viral post about Fred Enaga using slingshot on a journalist is both old and misleading.