Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) has written to the top management of The Observer newspaper claiming that their clients Sam Rwakoojo and Jotham Taremwa were defamed in offensive publications which depicted the duo as corrupt and fraudulent persons while working at Electoral Commission.
Rwakoojo, the former Secretary of Electoral Commission along with Taremwa the spokesperson resigned from their jobs on July 21.
Whereas EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama clarified that the duo had willingly tendered in resignations, The Observer would later allege that they had been fired for being corrupt and also using their powers siphoned over shs 300 million from the commission’s SACCO.
This website has landed on a notice served to Observer on Wednesday, KAA which is one of the best legal firms in Kampala, ordered the the newspaper to issue an apology in 7 days or face legal suit.
In a demand notice, KAA issued conditions to the Kamwokya based media house if it is to survive a legal battle.
“We represent Mr Jotham Taremwa and Sam Rwakoojo (“our Clients”) on whose instructions we write to you as follows; on 16th September 2020, you published on the front page of your newspaper volume 15 issue 037 our Clients’ faces and names were featured under the words “Wave of Change at Electoral Commission” with the full story written by a one Baker Batte at pages 5 to 6. You also published an online version of the article entitled “Electoral Commission deal that sank 4 bosses”. In both publications, you uttered false and defamatory words against our Clients with the intention of reducing and demeaning their reputations among right thinking members of the society both local and international,” reads the notice in parts.
The lawyers insist that Jotham Taremwa is the former Spokesperson of the Electoral Commission of Uganda, a position he held since November of 2012. Mr Taremwa was previously the public relations officer of the parliament of Uganda which is one of the three arms of government.
Mr Sam Rwakoojo on the other hand is a former member of parliament for Rwemiyaga constituency. He has been the secretary of the Electoral Commission for a period of over 20 years and in which period he has organised three general elections two of which were upheld by the Supreme Court of Uganda and the other unchallenged.
“During their conduct of the elections during their tenure, our Clients were both aired on both local and international television particularly through the 2016 general elections that were locally and internationally monitored. Some of the 2016 general election observers included the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mission led by Mr. Yufnalis Okubo, the Commonwealth mission led by former President Olasogun Obasanjo of Nigeria, the Johannesburg-based Electoral Institute for Sustainable Development in Africa mission led by former President Rupiah Banda of Zambia, the African Union mission, the COMESA mission, and the European Union mission, under the auspices of the East African Community mission led by former President Ali Hassan Mwini of Tanzania. Your publication has therefore caused persons from the international community to call, and others write, on the basis of your statements and claim that he is corrupt, a fraudster with no moral standing in society. Your false publication was made more believable by the fictitious arrest of our Clients that you described and the fact that your newspaper has a wide coverage both locally and internationally.”
KAA further says that the newspaper’s statements have also adversely affected their clients’ international and national business.
“Many of their business partners have expressed reservations in dealing with them because of their corrupt and immoral standards as you alleged and falsely depicted. This has also no doubt affected their employability in the future.
In light of the above, our Clients have instructed us to demand for an immediate public withdraw of your publications and a public apology in the very front page and online where you defamed them. Further, that you take down/delete your online publications in issue immediately. Our Client also demands that you cease to publish any further false matter about them in the future.
If you fail to heed to the above demands within seven (7) days of receipt of this letter, we have been instructed to commence civil proceedings against you.”