Kalangala, 13th/August/2012;The hearing of a case in which Ronald Ssembuusi, a Central Broadcasting Service (CBS) journalist was accused of defamation by the former L.C V of Kalangala district continued on the 9th of August in Kalangala with the prosecution producing two more witnesses.
The OC CID for Kalangala District, Mr. Ssenabulya Joseph adduced evidence as to the fact that the accused approached him on the 16th day of November 2011 to inquire about the theft of the solar panels but he did not have the file and asked Ssembuusi to return later that day for information regarding the matter. Ssenabulya however denied any knowledge of the involvement of Daniel Kikola, the complainant in the theft. During cross-examination, the OC CID told court that he wrote to Uganda Communications Centre, a non-existent body, requesting them to avail a copy of the C.D containing the defamatory material. He also failed to clearly explain what he understood by the term defamation.
Mr. Kweyamba Augustine, the Investigating Officer, also testified. He told court that he listened to the alleged defamatory news which was aired in Luganda, a language which he admitted not to clearly understand and found the news to be defamatory. The C.D was played in court and tendered in for identification awaiting the officer who collected it from Uganda Communications Commission to tender it in as an exhibit.
Prosecution has two more witnesses to close their case. The matter was adjourned to end of September 2012, after the special High Court criminal session to be held at the Kalangala Magistrates Court.
Kikoola dragged Ssembuusi -a correspondent for the Buganda Kingdom’ private radio for Kalangala district in the Central Uganda region to court accusing him of defamation when he reported a story which aired on CBS radio on 17th/November/2011 that he was being investigated for alleged involvement in the disappearance of solar panels.He was charged with criminal defamation on 21st/March/2012 and released on Shillings 1 million non-cash bail.
Over 80 solar panels were donated by the African Development Bank through the ministry of water and environment in 2010 to help circulate clean and safe water in Kalangala Town Council. Unfortunately, 40 (forty) of them went missing under unclear circumstances. Since November 2011, police have recovered about 21 of them.
For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
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