Uganda's High Commissioner to Rwanda Ambassador Richard Kabonero is demanding sh1b damages from a local tabloid.
By Andante Okanya
Uganda's High Commissioner to Rwanda Ambassador Richard Kabonero is demanding sh1b damages from a local tabloid Red Pepper and its sister tabloid Hello, claiming they published defamatory articles that depicted him as marriage wrecker.
On Monday, Kabonero filed two civil suits at the High Court in Kampala, against each of the publications. He is demanding sh500m from each of the publications.
Through Rwakakooko, Owiny, Kakonge and Company Advocates, Kabonero additionally wants court to permanently restrain the duo from publishing articles that cast him in bad light. The purported libelous articles under contention ran in Red Pepper of last year December 24. For Hello, the contentious articles were published this year on March 1 and 8.
The published articles linked Kabonero to the marriage woes of businessman Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari, and his wife Isabel Katembwe Mwesigwa. Rukaari is also Malawi Consul to Uganda, and owner of international consultancy firm Amproc.
The couple is currently locked in a bitter divorce battle at the Family Court in Kampala, with accusations and counter- accusations of infidelity.
Kabonero states that the publications did not verify their articles, and that they were driven by motive to make profit, and taint his reputation. He laments, saying he has become an object of ridicule among his family and right thinking members of society.
"The defendants in the said articles do not provide any corroboration for their inflammatory headline, and they do not attempt to disguise their intent to embarrass and defame the plaintiff," Kabonero states.
He notes that the documents alluded to in the articles, have never been proved in court, neither have the infidelity claims been confirmed in court. Kabonero also says the articles have inspired several blogs and internet articles, which have put him under intense social media spotlight.
The diplomat says he demanded a retraction of the articles but was ignored. Kabonero wants to be awarded costs of the suit plus interest, to be determined by court, from this year March 1 till full payment.
The defendants are yet to respond to Kabonero's claims. A hearing date is yet to be scheduled.
Ambassador Kabonero demands sh1b over defamation