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Buliisa MP Mukitale sued for defamation

By Barbra Kabahumuza

Added 2nd April 2017 02:05 PM

The accuser says the libelous material is contained in statements Mukitale made in an article published in a local newspaper.

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The accuser says the libelous material is contained in statements Mukitale made in an article published in a local newspaper.

KAMPALA - Buliisa County MP Stephen Mukitale (pictured) has been dragged to court by a Kampala businessman who says the legislator defamed him.

Francis Kaahwa, who filed his lawsuit in the Civil Division of the High Court, is seeking orders requiring Mukitale to pay him damages he did not specify.

He alleged that the libelous material is contained in statements Mukitale made in an article that was published in The Daily Monitor newspaper of March 6, 2017 under the headline 'Government cancels land titles issued in past 7 years'.

The alleged article Kaahwa complained of reads in part:  ‘Welcoming the directive, Buliisa County MP Stephen Mukitale, who has been at centre of fighting for people's land in the district, said the decision will once and for all deal with "mafia" who are grabbing land in the region. The mafias are holding government and oil companies to ransom, who are terrorizing the communities’ agent called Francis Kaahwa’.

The accuser further alleges that the Mukitale added that the so-called mafia network was well webbed with the district police commander and resident district commissioner working to extort sh300b from oil companies in compensation.

He further contends that in their natural and ordinary meaning the said words meant and were understood to mean that Kaahwa is a corrupt, dishonest, greedy and grasping individual, who is complicit in grabbing land belonging to the good people of the oil-rich region of Buliisa.

Kaahwa is arguing that the publication injured his character and reputation and as a result of it allegedly being a false and libelous statement, he is regarded with contempt, mistrust, ridicule and disesteem.

He is also saying he has been brought into scandal, experiencing mental pain, anxiety, emotional stress, irritation and annoyance at the false accusation made by Mukitale.

Through Kabayiza, Kavuma, Mugerwa & Ali Advocates, Kaahwa contended that he had afforded the defendant an opportunity to remedy the damage by apologizing, but he refused the offer and has since remained adamant.

He wants the court to order MP Mukitale to pay him general and exemplary damages for libel and costs of the suit.

Meanwhile, court registrar Alex Ajiji has directed Mukitale to file his written statement defence within 15 days upon receipt of the plaint.

 

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