FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Ugandan Police Officer Firing A Slingshot At A Reporter?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a Ugandan police officer firing a slingshot at a reporter for “asking irrelevant questions.”

Verdict: False

The spokesperson in the photo was demonstrating how the device works, according to footage from the pictured press conference. He did not fire the weapon at reporters.

Fact Check: 

The Facebook image shows a uniformed man sitting at a desk and drawing the string of a slingshot back. “Newly appointed Uganda police spokesman hits News reporter with a caterpult (sic) for asking irrelevant question,” reads text included in the photo.

The post’s claim is inaccurate. A reverse image search revealed the photo can be found in an April 2021 article published by Ugandan news outlet The Independent, which identifies the man as “Police spokesperson Fred Enanga.” The article explains that Enanga was demonstrating how to operate the slingshot but does not mention anything about him firing it at reporters. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Young People Stopping A Police Officer From Stealing A Ballot Box During Uganda’s 2021 Presidential Election?)

The photo was taken from an April 2021 press conference Ugandan police held to discuss the danger of slingshots, which the police claim criminals were smuggling into the country. A portion of the press conference was shared on YouTube by the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation with a title that reads, “UGANDAN POLICE TIGHTEN VIGILANCE AGAINST CATAPULT GANGS.”

The footage shared on YouTube shows Enanga pulling the string of the slingshot back and letting it go but there is no projectile loaded into the device. At no point does Enanga fire the weapon at reporters. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to suggest he did so. The Uganda Police Force denied the claim in a tweet calling it “Fake news.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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