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HomeFact CheckDid Uganda Cop Hit Journalist With Catapult? No, Image Goes Viral With...

Did Uganda Cop Hit Journalist With Catapult? No, Image Goes Viral With False Claim

An image of a police officer seemingly aiming a slingshot at journalists in a press briefing is being widely shared and circulated on social media platforms with the claim that a “newly appointed” Uganda cop hit journalist for asking “irrelevant” questions. The image has become a subject of amusement online with many users believing it to be true. Newschecker has found this claim to be misleading.

Former Dutch Ambassador to India Fons Stoelinga was among several Twitter users who shared the viral image of the police officer with the caption, “Newly appointed Uganda police spokesman hits News reporter with a caterpult (catapult) for asking irrelevant question.”

The image of the “newly appointed” Uganda spokesperson is doing the rounds on Facebook as well with users believing that he actually hit a journalist with the slingshot for asking irrelevant questions.

Claim that Uganda cop hit journalist for asking irrelevant question is false.

Several eccentric images or videos that go viral on social media are often shared with false or misleading context. Newschecker has debunked multiple viral visuals shared without proper context. You can read our fact checks here, here and here

Fact Check/Verification

Newschecker scanned through the comments associated with the viral image and found a link to a YouTube video shared by a Twitter user ‘@SkythianFS’ who termed the claim that Uganda cop hit journalist for asking irrelevant questions with catapult as “blatant lies.” 

The link led us to a  three minute and six second-long video uploaded on the YouTube channel of UBC Television Uganda  on April 13, 2021 with the title ‘Ugandan Police Tighten Vigilance Against Catapult Gangs.’ According to the description of the video, “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.” 

At 0:04 seconds, we found the still going viral with the claim that a Uganda police spokesperson hit a journalist with a catapult.  He can be heard saying, “ You do like this … and tuck it somewhere … So you can see how dangerous this thing is,” while briefing the reporters on how the catapult functions. 

We looked up keywords ‘Uganda Police Catapult Gangs’ and found a video uploaded on a YouTube channel New Vision TV on April 13, 2021 with the title ‘Criminal gangs using catapults to attack motorists Police.’ 

According to the video, the police man in the viral image was identified as Fred Enanga. The video carried the same visuals of Enanga demonstrating how a catapult with a “metallic bearing” could be “dangerous.” 

Newschecker continued the investigation and searched keywords ‘Catapult gangs in Uganda’ and found a report by New Vision dated, April 15, 2021, with the title ‘Gangs using catapults to attack motorists.’

According to the report, addressing a joint security press briefing in Kampala, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said criminal gangs now use catapults to smash windows of motorists and unsuspecting pedestrians. “When equipped with a metallic bearing, the factory-made catapult can really be dangerous and with a metallic projectile can be so deadly,” Enanga said.

We further searched ‘catapult’ on the official website of Uganda police and found a press release, dated April 12, 2021 with the title ‘Police actively investigating disruptive criminal elements.’

The release also carried the image of spokesperson Enanga which is going viral with the claim that a Uganda cop hit journalist with catapult for irrelevant questions. According to the release, “The Directorate of Crime Intelligence has confiscated several factory made catapults during its intelligence operations, that could have been imported by negative elements as tools of violence.”

Conclusion

The viral claim that a Uganda cop hit journalist with a catapult for asking irrelevant questions is untrue. The image is from 2021 and in fact shows the cop demonstrating how a catapult works.  

Sources

Twitter Account Of HNIC

YouTube Channels Of UBC Television Uganda & New Vision TV

New Vision

Official Website Of Uganda Police


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Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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