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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Assault on press freedoms in Uganda: Hearing of Kalyegira’s defamation case resumes: City Hall Court has convicted and sentenced Kyuma Kya Yesu a Freelance Journalist to two-month imprisonment over criminal trespass for trying to present a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga over police brutality on journalists

Hearing of Kalyegira’s defamation case resumes
 

Publish Date: Dec 18, 2014
Hearing of Kalyegira’s defamation case resumes
Timothy Kalyegira Courtesy Photo


By Davis Buyondo

KAMPALA - The case in which Timothy Kalyegira, a former Daily Monitor Journalist, is charged with defaming President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has resumed at City Hall in Kampala.


On Tuesday, through his lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, Kalyegira prayed to court that criminal defamation charges brought against him by the State be dismissed on grounds that Section 179 of the Penal Code Act, under which he is being charged, contravenes international standards and best practices of media freedom.

Kalyegira further argues that according to the recent decision delivered by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) to which Uganda is party, found criminal defamation to be contrary to the guarantees on freedom of expression.

However, Moses Nabende, the trial Magistrate, advised Rwakafuzi to furnish court with the said decision.

Prosecution alleges that on July 12 and July 16, 2010 in Kampala district, with intent to defame the person of the president, Kalyegira unlawfully published defamatory matter on the Uganda Records, an online publication, when he published that government was responsible for the bombs that went off on July 11, 2010 killing close to 80 people at the Ethiopian village in Kabalagala and Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo.

In 2012, Kalyegira filed an application to the High Court raising a question of law as to whether online publication was envisaged under Section 179 of the Penal Code Act.

In deciding the matter, Justice Lameck Kigozi held that online publication can constitute a commission of an offence under Section 179 of the Penal code Act and the case was referred to the trial magistrate for trial.

However, the case was adjourned to January 16, 2015 for mention.

Local journalist jailed over criminal trespass
 

Publish Date: Dec 18, 2014
Local journalist jailed over criminal trespass
William Ntege was jailed for 60 days Courtesy Photo

By Michael Odeng

City Hall Court last Friday convicted and sentenced a Freelance Journalist to two-month imprisonment over criminal trespass for trying to present a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga over police brutality on journalists.
 
 
The court presided over by Grade one magistrate Elias Kakooza also passed cautioned against William Ntege popularly known as Kyuma Kya Yesu on another count of being a common nuisance at the Parliament of Uganda.
 
The sentence was passed by the magistrate after the Top Television, and former WBS freelance journalist pleaded guilty to both charges.
 
 
“Have you understood the charges read before you, is it true or not,” the magistrate asked. Ntege replied yes.
 
 
The magistrate ruled that Ntege will spend 60 days and nights at Luzira Prison.
 
 
The incident for which Ntege was convicted occurred when he entered the Parliament of Uganda and tried to present his petition to the House Speaker, Kadaga over Police brutality on journalists and other Ugandans.
 
 
Ntege was on that fateful day arrested at Parliament for trespass and produced in court for prosecution. Police also confiscated Ntege’s audio and visual evidence to Police brutality.
 
 
Prosecution led by State Attorney Miriam Njuki told court that while at Parliament, Ntege did an act not authorised by law when he unlawfully entered into the Parliamentary building, but remained there with an intention to demonstrate and disrupt business within Parliament.
 
 
Prosecution also told court that Ntege chained and padlocked himself on a bar at the fly-over connecting the South wing to the Northern wing of the Parliament building, and that efforts to ask him to leave failed until the officers sought the services of a technician to cut the chain, leading to his arrest.