Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP) Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, has threatened to sue Monitor Publications Limited, which runs The Daily Monitor, over a story on his alleged engagement in secret talks with an official in President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s government to cause the release on bail of National Unity Platform (NUP) MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya of Kawempe North and Allan Ssewanyana of Makindye West.
In his intention to sue notice filed through his lawyers of Lukwago and Company Advocates and sent to the Monitor Publications Limited Managing Director on February 14, 2023, Mpuuga took issue with the story published on the newspaper’s fourth and fifth pages on the same date, and titled ‘How MPs Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Walked to Freedom.’
Through his lawyers, Mpuuga told Daily Monitor that the story contained ‘false and defamatory statements.’
In their notice, Mpuuga’s lawyers included extracts from The Daily Monitor story that they said we’re false and defamatory. These included the following:
“Our investigations reveal a complex wev of secret talks powered by Parliament’s top leadership and in which the Leader of Opposition played a key role reportedly outside Bobi Wine’s purview, leading to a deal-making meeting last month between the accused lawmakers and a senior government executive, expected to soon result in the freedom of National Unity Platform party supporters being tried by the army court.
More than half-a-dozen sources, among them individuals involved and or briefed on the behind-the-scene engagements, said Parliament Speaker Anita Among and Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa as well as Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP), played key roles.
Another source said the Leader of Opposition was in court in person yesterday because he likely had prior information the legislators would be granted bail. Mr Mpuuga last evening denied any clandestine engagements, or bargains.
Mr Mpuuga, who by some accounts has been deeply involved in the secret talks but reportedly without the direct blessing or endorsement of his party’s top leadership including NUP President Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, yesterday downplayed his role and said there was no secret deal-making.
Despite the official denial, the role of Mr Mpuuga on the talks manifested in public when it emerged that he had attended a closed-dpor meeting that Mr Tayebwa convened with security and intelligence chiefs.”
According to Lukwago and Company Advocates, the statements in the extract from the story are “false and only intended to denigrate” Mpuuga, “tarnish his name and, were indeed understood by all the right-thinking members of society to mean that the LoP is: a) an unprincipled political leader, b) a person of double standards, and c) untrustworthy and dishonest.
The lawyers further told the Monitor Publications Limited MD that Mpuuga had “always held your company and its publications in high esteem, but was ‘startled’ by the story. Mpuuga now wants The Daily Monitor to apologize to him and pay him Shs200m in damages within seven days or wait for him in court.
“Take notice that, by reason of the said defamatory publications, our client who has at all material times been a highly respected person, whose record in public service is beyond reproach, has been greatly injured in his credit, reputation and generally subjected to untold psychological torture,” wrote Lukwago and Company Advocates.
“In the premises, our client demands that you apologize to him and retract the said fallacious and malicious publication in your Newspaper and in the same way highlight it as you published the defamatory story and pay damages of UGX. 200,000,000/= (Two Hundred Million Shillings) with 10% thereof on account of costs. Should you fail to comply within Seven (7) days from the date hereof, we shall have no option but to commence legal proceedings against you to your detriment. Stay duly warned!”