Uganda: Busiki MP Akamba in Legal Battle Over Defaming Fellow Legislator

The Samia Bugwe North Member of Parliament in Busia District, Mr Gideon Onyango, has dragged a fellow legislator to court for allegedly defaming him in an open letter addressed to the speaker on May 29.

In his law suit filed before the High Court civil division, Mr Onyango alleges that Busiki County Member of Parliament, Mr Paul Akamba, claimed that he forged his (Akamba) signature to support a motion for a resolution of Parliament to adopt the president's directive to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Eng Godfrey Khauka and Mr John Turyagenda at the Rural electrification Agency (REA).

In his letter dated March 10, the President instructed the CID boss, Ms Grace Akullo to prosecute and recover stolen money from the corrupt officials of REA after completing his investigations that they had been colluding with some shoddy suppliers and contractors to implement substandard power lines.

Mr Onyango states that the same allegations were repeated on two occasions by Mr Akamba on both NTV and NBS televisions with national and international coverage.

According to court documents, Mr Akamba repeated the same allegations and defamatory utterances on the May 26, 2020 while appearing on Nxt radio 89.4FM in a telephone interview on a political program and referred to Mr Onyango as a mafia being used by other people whom he did not disclose.

"The plaintiff (Mr Onyango) notified the defendant (Mr Akamba) of his actions and the damage the defamatory utterances, allegations, statements and story had caused to him but the defendant failed to make good the damage," reads in part the court documents.

Mr Onyango contends that the said words and utterances in their natural and ordinary meaning by Mr Akamba meant and was understood to mean that he is not a fit and proper person to hold the office of an MP, a mafia and a criminal who forges signatures.

"The plaintiff shall contend and aver that the utterances by the defendant are false, made recklessly and without any legal basis or justification, maliciously authored and published and meant to tarnish the plaintiff's image and reputation in the eyes and mind of right thinking members of society," court documents read in part.

"The plaintiff shall contend that his reputation, image, esteem and status has been damaged and lowered in the estimation of the right thinking members of society who now regard him in hatred, contempt, ridicule, shunned and avoided as a very wrong person," court documents further state.

Mr Onyango states that unless court restrains Mr Akamba, he will continue with the slanderous utterances to which he shall seek a permanent injunction.

He is now seeking for a permanent injunction, damages, interest, costs and an order that Mr Akamba makes an apology published in a newspaper of wide circulation and be aired on Nxt Radio 89.4FM where the defamatory statements were aired and uttered.

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