Former Inspector General of Police Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura has given a seven-day notice to the government-owned media company New Vision, to file a law suit over a series of stories that were published by the company, connecting him to the murder of former police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Through his lawyers of Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), Kayihura wants the New Vision on top of an apology, to pay him up to Shs 300million for each of the various stories which implicated him in the murder of Kaweesi as well as other crimes.
Weeks ago, New Vision ran a three-part series which they said was from a joint security report they obtained, on the alleged involvement of security personnel into the murder of Kaweesi.
Kayihura’s lawyers claim the series, as well as other stories published previously about the former IGP were a “deliberate and sustained campaign” against him.
The lawyers argue that New Vision proceeded to publish all these stories well aware that the allegations therein were false.
These noted that the media house had clearly pointed out for instance that some witnesses who testified against Kayihura confirmed themselves that they were coerced to accuse the former IGP and fabricate evidence against him.
Even an audio recording cited in the probe, the lawyers noted; New Vision admitted it had been compromised.
A recorded phone conversation which was cited by the media house in which Kayihura allegedly communicated to Kaweesi’s killers after they completed the mission was also found to be fabricated since all data records showed that Kayihura had not received the alleged call.
Yet, the lawyers say, even after the New Vision noticed all these glitches in the report, they proceeded to publish the stories, titled; “Did Kayihura Kill Kaweesi”, “Kayihura explains why Baroza scooped Kaweesi’s blood, and “Why Joint Security Team scants deeper Kayihura probe”
“You published a number of allegations which you knew by then to have been fake and thoroughly discredited including the fake audio,” the lawyers wrote in the notice of intention to sue letter to the New Vision.
“The manner, tone and presentation of the series was to the effect that our client participated in this heinous crime and yet you had all the evidence showing that the allegations were false.”
These stories, on top of other stories published earlier in June focusing on Kayihura’s other alleged crimes and health, the lawyers say, were published in New Vision, Sunday Vision, Saturday Vision, Bukedde, and on the various online and social media platforms of the company, where they were shared, retweeted and viewed by many.
“Your twitter handle is followed by 462,000 followers; these allegations were read by hundreds of thousands of people.”
The stories, according to Kayihura’s lawyers, caused “great pain and anguish to his family, relatives and associates.”
As such, the lawyers provided New Vision with a period of seven days to retract the stories and apologize to Gen Kayihura, on top of paying him Shs 300million for each one of the stories, failure of which they would proceed to file a law suit against the company.
Our efforts to reach New Vision’s legal desk to respond to the charges did not bear fruit.