THE KABAKA of Buganda His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has directed Kingdom Attorney General Owek. Christopher Bwanika to write to The Managing Director Monitor Publications Ltd, demanding UGX 5B and an apology over publishing what has been reffered to as a blatantly false story, twisted and wholly malicious with an intension to portray the Kingdom of Buganda in negative light and present it’s leadership as dishonest.
“Failure to abide within 5 days of receiving this notice, we shall proceed to sue the Monitor Publications Limited and the Editor, to claim heavier damages and costs for liberal under the laws of Uganda. Stand duly warned.” Reads Buganda Kingdom notice which has been duly received by Daily Monitor Ltd.
The contentious article titled, ‘How US fallout with Mengo froze Kasubi Tombs funds’, on page 2 column 2, reported by James Kabengwa was published by Daily Monitor Newspaper on Monday April 20th 2020.
It alleged that the US Embassy gave the Kingdom USD 250,000 for the Kasubi Royal Tombs reconstruction and that the Kingdom failed to account for the money and the US Embassy and the Kingdom are at loggerheads.
Buganda Attorney General says, these were false allegations against the Kingdom of Buganda, the award was just USD 5000 which was utilised and was returned as was duly explained and accounted for at the material time.
Owek. Bwanika says The Daily Monitor article is glaringly false as the Kingdom of Buganda has not fallen out with the US Embassy.
“Buganda Kingdom has at all times, prior to the publication of that article, been enjoying a cordial relationship with the US Embassy, the US Government and the Citizenry. The allegation is intended to deter future engagements with the Kingdom’s strategic partners.” Writes Buganda Kingdom Attorney General.
“We therefore demand that Monitor Publications Limited and the Editor admit liability to pay damages and forthwith, withdraw the false story and publish a prominent apology on front page to the Kabaka of Buganda, the Katikkiro of Buganda, Cabinet and officials of Buganda Kingdom and the People of Buganda at large.” Says Bwanika, a prominent advocate in Kampala.
The letter was copied to Buganda Kingdom Premier, 1st Deputy Premier, 2nd deputy Premier and also to the Minister of Information and Cabinet Affairs Buganda Kingdom
BUGANDA KINGDOM IN OUR GOOD BOOKS – U.S GOVERNMENT
Meanwhile, America has strongly refuted Daily Monitor Newspaper article calling it a false story, saying Buganda Kingdom is in the good books of the U.S Government.
Mr. Phil Dimon, Spokesman US Embassy in Kampala said in a released statement that, “The United States government supports the preservation of cultural heritage around the world, and we look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with the Buganda Kingdom.”
Phil Dimon said the U.S. Embassy in Kampala provided financial assistance to the Buganda Kingdom several years ago for a cultural preservation project at the Kasubi tombs.
Unfortunately, kingdom officials were unable to use the money for the project by the specified project end date.
“In accordance with standard procedures, we asked for the money to be returned, and kingdom officials returned the money.” Mr. Phil said, clearing Kingdom’s name.
Pinching more holes in the Daily Monitor story against Buganda Kingdom, the US Embassy in Kampala using their verified Twitter handle denied ever giving the Kingdom USD 250,000 (Shs950 million) as Daily Monitor alleged, instead collaborating with the Kingdom that they were only awarded USD 5,000 (Shs14.9m at the time) which the Kingdom returned to the Americans after the implementation period had elapsed. The money was meant for an information board at the Kasubi Royal Tombs.
U.S Embassy says, “On April 20, Daily Monitor published a story incorrectly asserting that the US Embassy provided USD 250,000 to the Buganda Kingdom for a cultural preservation project at the Kasubi Royal Tombs. To correct the record, the amount we contributed was USD 5,000 (not $250,000 as the story said).”
“Kingdom officials were unable to use money by the project end and date and returned it.” Reads the Statement.
The US Government has categorically stated that, “America and Buganda Kingdom maintain relations based on cultural exchange and in keeping with our status as a foreign diplomatic mission. We look forward to working with the Buganda Kingdom and other Kingdoms in Uganda on cultural projects in the future.”
DETAILS OF A NOTICE TO DAILY
In a letter dated April 22nd 2020 and addressed to both the Managing Director and the Managing Editor, Monitor Publications Limited, Owek. Bwanika put it to the story author one James Kabengwa for threatening the Kingdom of Buganda to publish an injurious article regarding a grant the US Embassy awarded the Kingdom of Buganda.
“Kabengwa menacingly presented altered documents which the Kingdom officials challenged and clearly pointed out to him to be false. He was told the truth of the matter and reffered to the US Embassy in Kampala to verify the facts.” Reads Buganda Kingdom notice to Monitor Publications ltd bosses.
Owek. Bwanika said, The Embassy set the record straight but Kabengwa still went ahead and falsely and maliciously wrote and caused to be published an injurious article because that was his intention.
“True to what he promised and set out to do, he proceeded to write a false and injurious article which you published, claiming that the US awarded the Kingdom USD 250,000.” Wrote Buganda Kingdom Attorney General.
To Kabengwa bosses, Owek. Bwanika says, when their journalist wrote lies, they went on to publish the said article, fully aware that it was a false allegation.
“We challenge Kabengwa, Monitor Publications Limited and the editor to produce evidence and specifically the agreement reffered to in the article of USD 250,000 awarded to the Kingdom of Buganda by the US Embassy in Kampala and was unaccounted for.” Reads the Notice.
Buganda Kingdom pins Kabengwa that his intentions as he claimed in his Whatsapp messages exchanged with Kingdom officials was to tarnish the Kingdom’s name and present it’s leadership as dishonest people.
Owek. Bwanika says, “The article written and published about the Kingdom of Buganda and it’s officials is false in all material particulars and amounts to Libel for which you are reliable to pay heavy damages and costs for the injury caused to Buganda Kingdom.”
He goes on to say, “In its ordinary and natural meaning, the article portrays the Kingdom and it’s officials as thieves, criminals, unscrupulous and dishonest people who were unfit to be in leadership or deserve to be trusted by the US Government or any other person or entity.”
The article complained of, Owek. Bwanika says, has caused enormous reputational damage to the Kingdom of Buganda, it’s officials and people of Buganda at large.
“The publisher and the editor of Daily Monitor are liable for Damages for Libel for the Injury caused to the Kingdom of Buganda arising from the false and Malicious article.” Notice reads.
It is on this note, according to Advocate Bwanika that the Kngdom of Buganda holds Daily Monitor Publications Ltd liable in damages reckoned to be over Uganda Shillings 5,000,000,000 for the injury and suffering caused to its people.
INFORMATION MINISTER ON USD 5000 GRANT
Owek. Noah Kiyimba, minister of Information, Protocol and Kingdom Spokesman has told us, the grant by the U.S Embassy in Kampala was supposed to be utilized within a specific timeframe.
“This wasn’t possible mainly due to the ongoing works at the tombs. In order to fulfil the terms of the grant, the Kingdom of Buganda refunded the money on January 12th, 2017 and was issued with an official receipt.” Says Owek. Noah Kiyimba.
GO & SUE – STORY AUTHOR
James Kabengwa whose story is likely to cause problems to his bosses has attacked Buganda Land Board lawyer who doubles as the Board Spokesman Dennis Bugaya over Buganda Kingdom intentions to sue telling them to go ahead.
He wrote this to Buganda Think Tank Whatsapp group on April 21st 2020 at 21:22 pm: “All along I thought lawyering was about super intellect and classical interpretation. A fashioned lawyer who is also self styled spokesperson of an institution would just sleep down, actually lie low, when such a tweet is published.”
“Figures are correctable. But the fact is I even concretized more by embassy and was reinforced by Mengo. Dennis lie low. Don’t be like those monkeys that portray their hinds the more they climb heights.” Said Kabengwa telling Buganda Kingdom to, “Go ahead, file the suit, thats when you will understand the meaning of the word Quack.”