Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has called for an investigation into the reported harassment meted out against his predecessor Amama Mbabazi by police.
Rugunda made the call on Thursday during a breakfast meeting with members of Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA) in the cabinet hall at office of the Prime Minister.
The prime minister responded to a query from one of the UPPA members , citing the weekend scene where the Mbarara District Police Commander Dickens Bindeba briefly stopped Mbabazi from addressing people attending western media Awards.
Rugunda said there is need for government to work on basis of facts which are well researched before carrying out such operations.
//Cue in: Rugunda: Ndugu Mbabaziâ€¦.
Referring to Mbabazi as â€˜Ndugu', a Swahili word meaning mate, Rugunda said the former premier is a free Uganda citizen, who is NRM's Secretary General and Member of Parliament for Kinkizi west.
â€œIt is a duty of all Ugandans to ensure that everyone enjoys his or her right to freedom and also check whether we are conducting ourselves according to the laws of the land. Ugandans should be at liberty to enjoy their peace,â€ Rugunda said.
Mbabazi has continued to attract the attention of either Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) or DPCs whenever he goes to meet different people.
On the problem of ministers not being available and slowing parliamentary business, Rugunda said the matter is being handled by the second deputy prime minister Gen Moses Ali in concert with Chief Whip Justine Lumumba.
He said the issue of ministers not appearing in parliament is an unfortunate and government is taking it up with seriousness.
Dr. Rugunda also said that the government values the role of the media in informing the public and will continue to work with it. He said that it is important for the government and the media to work together for Ugandans to better be served.
On the proposal by UPPA president Agnes Nanduttu to arrange a meeting between journalists and ministers in a symposium, Rugunda pledged to draw up a programme for the interface.
The vice chairperson of NRM caucus David Bahati said chief whip's office was ready to help the media to play their role.
Breakfast meetings with members of UPPA are planned through the financial year.
It is meant to bridge the gap between government and members of the press covering parliament.
â€œWe hope as we continue to engage you will continue highlighting the achievement of the government and also pointing out the weakness where we will make correction,â€ Bahati said.