It is already a desided matter in court by implication according to the trial Judge, Justice Steven Musota. In addition the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye risks being blocked from participating in next month’s elections if a petition by a police boss is something to go by.
He has to be available for trial on 3rd March 2016 set for hearing by the learnt Judge. According to the constitution only a president is not liable to any court proceedings.
The head of the directorate of crime intelligence in the police force, Lt Col Ndahura Atwooki Birakurataki, has petitioned the civil division of the High Court in Kampala to dispose of the case involving him and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye before next month’s presidential election.
In a January 7 petition that Red Pepper has seen, Ndahura argues that Besigye aims at defeating justice by running for immunity against any court proceedings.
“After extensive consultations with various legal authorities following your decision to adjourn the cases to the 3rd of March 2016 I do humbly pray that the hearing be brought forward. The current date constitutes a mockery of justice as it is a hearing deemed in vain as one of the defendants, Rtd. Col Dr Besigye aims at defeating justice by running for immunity against any court proceedings. He is a presidential candidate,” Ndahura’s petition reads in part.
In October last year, Justice Stephen Musota was allocated to hear the defamation case filed in 2012 by a senior army officer Lt. Col. Ndahura Atwooki Biraku Rataku against Dr. Kiiza Besigye and his sister Dr. Olive Kobusingye.
Ndahura sued Besigye in October 2012 for allegedly defaming him in interview with The Observer. He also sued the newspaper and its editor.
The petition adds, “I believe courts owe the people of Uganda the duty to determine dishonesty when brought before the temple of justice. This is more pertinent now as the defendant (Besigye) aims at a false political victory of whatever percentage since his campaign package includes the falsehood complained about if not resolved. Ugandans need a leveled ground free of lies in order to make a free choice.”
The colonel also wants court to dispose of a case in which he accuses the two of defamation.
Ndahura accuses the duo of making false and malicious statements against him in relation to the 2001 general elections in Rukungiri District.
They allegedly stated that Ndahura who by then was a Captain and head of the PPU unit; is responsible for committing several atrocities in Rukungiri including the death of a one Baronda.
“Accordingly therefore I did under paragraph 18 pray for “(a) A permanent injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, their servants or agents from publishing and / or causing to be published of any defamatory words or any words of a like effect against the Plaintiff. ….. (d) Defendants publish an apology to the Plaintiff in the 2nd Defendant’s Newspaper with prominence and wording agreed to by the Plaintiff in advance.” These prayers have not been granted to date,” Ndahura states in his petition.
The said statements were published in 2009 in then Weekly Observer Newspaper.
Justice Musota had fixed the matter for hearing on 9th December 2015 but this was later changed to March 3, 2016.
This was after lawyers from Kafeero and company advocates representing Col. Ndahura Atwooki Birakurataki informed justice Musota that the two parties had failed to settle the matter out of court.
It was the second time both parties had failed to reach an out of court settlement which prompted the judge to set a date for hearing.
Ndahura insists that the case must be tried before the presidential elections slated for February 18.
“I also pray that the hearing date be brought forward to a date before elections slated for the 18th February 2016 and that you excuse yourself from these cases just in case you find that my fears have merit. It is also my humble prayer that justice is not only done but also be seen to be done,” Ndahura’s petition reads.
He adds, “The Defendant is stopped from running for the office which gives him immunity as well as power until the matter is resolved.”