Kalangala, 28th/November/2012; a court in Kalangala has ruled that a Central Broadcasting Service (CBS) radio journalist Ronald Ssembuusi has a case of criminal defamation to answer in a matter brought against him by the Kalangala district Chairperson David Kikoola. CBS radio is owned by Buganda Kingdom.
Ssembuusi -a correspondent for Kalangala district in the Central Uganda region was dragged by the district Chairman David Kikoola to court accusing him of defamation. He reported a story which aired on CBS radio on 17th/November/2011 that Kikoola was being investigated for alleged involvement in the disappearance of solar panels. Over 80 solar panels were donated by the African Development Bank through the ministry of water and environment in 2010 to help circulate clean and safe water in Kalangala Town Council. But about 40 (forty) of them went missing. Since November 2011, police have recovered some of them
Prosecution alleged that the story defamed Kikoola and brought several witnesses who among others included Daniel Kikoola- the complainant, Tindyebwa David -a fisherman and Kaweesa Gibril.
Ssembuusi preferred to remain silent after the ruling was delivered on November 28th, 2012 by presiding magistrate, Kenneth Gimungu.
He is being represented by the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda lawyer Catherine Anite who tendered in defence evidence of a letter written by the Water ministry to the Kalangala Town Clerk about the loss of solar panels in the district in a bid to justify the cause of the story. After Anite’s oral submissions which closed the defence’ case, the prosecution was given up to one week to respond.
.Court will set the judgment date on the 19th December 2012.
HRNJ-Uganda is impressed by the expeditious way in which this matter is being handled by the Court and is optimistic that the journalist will be acquitted.