14 June 2019

Uganda: Kyaligonza Runs to Police Over Defamation

Maj Gen (retired) Matayo Kyaligonza has distanced himself from statements attributed to him on social media that disrespect the orders of the courts saying they were concocted by unknown people to bring him down.

The social media posts had claimed that Maj Gen Kyaligonza had said he will not go to court, the judges were idle and he was a general who no one can arrest him.

Through his lawyer, Mr David Balondemu, Maj Gen Kyaligonza on Wednesday said: "The above statement was a concoction and purely harmful propaganda intended to malign the image of our client and portray him as if he is not a law-abiding citizen who acts with impunity whereas not."

The Mukono Chief Magistrate had issued an arrest warrant for Maj Gen Kyaligonza after he failed to appear in court on accusations that he and his military guards, Cpl Peter Bushindiki, 30, and Private John Robert Okurut, 27, had assaulted a traffic police officer, who was carrying out her constitutional mandate in February in Seeta, Mukono District.

Mr Balondemu said Maj Gen Kyaligonza has reported a case to Cybercrimes Unit at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to find the authors of the defamatory statements.

Maj Gen Kyaligonza is running to the same security agency that has been seeking an interview with him since February on assault charges, but he never responded.

Mr Balondemu said his client has challenged the orders to arrest him by Mukono Chief Magistrate's Court in the High Court.

"The magistrate didn't appreciate the law of double jeopardy. The accused soldiers took plea in the Court Martial Disciplinary Court and given bail with restrictions not to leave the confines of barracks. They are again charged with the same offences in Mukono court, which is double jeopardy," he said.

He said he wants the High Court to halt the trial in Mukono Chief Magistrate's Court because it is being heard in another court, which is instituted by law.

Mr Balondemu said his client is law-abiding and will abide by the decision of the High Court.

Arrest warrant

Mukono Chief Magistrate issued an arrest warrant for Maj Gen Kyaligonza after he failed to appear in court on accusations that he and his military guards assaulted a traffic police officer, who was carrying out her constitutional mandate.

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