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Next Media Employee Demands Shs300m Compensation, Threatens to Drag NTV Uganda to Court Over Murder Story Photo

Next Media Services and NTV Uganda logos. Images: Courtesy
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Jonah Kirabo, a reporter with Next Media Services, has confirmed that his lawyers have written to Nation Media Group (NMG) subsidiary NTV Uganda informing the station of his intention to sue them “for using my picture inadvertently in their story that aired Sunday.”

Through his lawyers of MA Kajubi and Company Advocates, Kirabo has written a notice of his intention to sue. According to Next Media Services reporter, during NTV Uganda’s prime time and live broadcast titled NTV at 9 on the June 05, 2022 at about 9-10am, the Serena Hotel-based television station, under its ‘Panorama’ segment,  “referred to, aired, and broadcast” his image “without his permission and portrayed him as the murderer in the famous DESIRE MIREMBE case.”

“The broadcast showed his Image with the statement that.. “last week the High court in Mukono found Dr. Mathew Kirabo guilty for the grisly murder of his girlfriend, Desire Mirembe Jemimah, However, by the time he was convicted, it is believed that Kirabo had slipped across the country’s porous borders and is currently hiding outside the country with a new identity,” wrote Kirabo’s lawyers of MA Kajubi and Company Advocates.

“As you are well aware, the Desire Mirembe case, has become a story of national interest that has captured the attention of the public including activists and the civil society, considering the gruesome nature with which she was killed by her boyfriend and the fact that the suspect has since escaped court proceedings and is wanted makes it more dangerous for our client.”

The Next Media Services staff member’s lawyers informed NTV Uganda how much the use of a wrong image had affected their client.

“Be that as it may, your false, and negligent broadcast of our client as the murderer/killer behind the heinous crime has not only affected him emotionally but it has also raised concerns from his friends, family, and work place hence mental and psychological torture. It has affected his daily executions as an influencer and a big media personality. Your broadcast of our client’s image defamed our client’s character and portrayed him as a murderer, Killer and a criminal who acts in contempt of court and with impunity in the eyes of the public,” the reporter’s lawyers further wrote.

“The said bulletin and or statements/ utterances are permanent on your various online accounts that have big followings and viewership especially on Youtube, titled “KIRABO GUILTY IN ABSENTIA” on the link, https:// youtu.be/W1I-1g-VA. We hereby put it to your attention and submit that the said broadcast of our client’s images was completely false, illegal, negligent and unfounded and defamed our client and also infringed on his constitutional right to privacy.”

Kirabo has now made demands which he expects NTV Uganda to meet within seven days from the date the station received his notice (June 07), short of which he will drag the television channel to courts of law.

Within seven days, Kirabo wants NTV Uganda to issue a public apology on all its social media platforms retracting all statements and utterances or broadcast made with his photo; delete the said video from the station’s YouTube and such associations on the social media platforms in respect to the same; make a public apology on the same bulletin or segment declaring the said use of image and statements thereto, as false for two consecutive days and publish them on at least two newspapers of wide circulation.

Kirabo also wants NTV Uganda to compensate him with Shs300m for infringement on his privacy by using his photo without his permission, as well as Shs30m as legal fees.

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