Journalist Objects to Tendering of Audio Recordings in Court

Kalangala, 25th/October/2012; a Central Broadcasting Service (CBS) radio journalist Ronald Ssembuusi has objected to an audio recording on a CD which he said was not authentic.
Ssembuusi, through his lawyer Catherine Anite of Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda told court that the CD should not be tendered in as prosecution exhibit since its authenticity was questionable. It did not bear the particulars of the alleged recording.

This transpired in Kalangala Magistrates Court as prosecution produced its last witness detective ASP Emmanuel Mbonimpa attached to the police’ media crimes department at the CID head quarters who testified that on 22/November/2011, he was informed by the former OC CID for Kalangala, Joseph Ssenabulya of a defamation case against Ssembuusi vide Kalangala CRB 1262/2011. He further testified that Ssenabulya wrote to the chairperson of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) requesting for CD recordings of CBS news of 17/November/2011 on 88.8 FM. And on 08th December 2011, Mbonimpa allegedly received a phone from UCC to pick the CD.

This marked the closure of the prosecution case after producing several witnesses who among others included Daniel Kikoola- the complainant, Tindyebwa David -a fisherman and Kaweesa Gibril.

The presiding magistrate, Kenneth Gimungu adjourned the matter to 14th November 2012 to give his ruling on whether the CD recording should be tendered in court as prosecution exhibit.
Kikoola dragged Ssembuusi -a correspondent for the Buganda Kingdom’ private radio for Kalangala district in the Central Uganda region to court accusing him of defamation when he reported a story which aired on CBS radio on 17th/November/2011 that he 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.

HRNJ-Uganda is impressed by the expeditious way in which this matter is being handled by the Court and we hope that justice will be delivered at the end of the process.

HRNJ-UG Admin

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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