Sarah Kagingo, the executive Director of @SoftPowerPR, a public relations firm who also does social media diplomacy for President Yoweri Museveni has resolved to drag Uganda’s leading newspaper, Daily Monitor, to courts of law.
On December 15, 2015, Kiwanuka Advocates and Karugire Solicitors, served The Editor in Chief Monitor Publications Limited with a notice of intention to sue.
“On page 1 and 4 of the monitor newspaper of December 14, 2015 you published a front page headline story under the tile “Mbabazi, Museveni supporters fight”. On page 3 of the Monitor newspaper of December 14, 2015 ….in the story you published the following words:…what could have been a peaceful campaign rally for Go Forward ended in kicks and punches between the supporters of the ruling NRM party and security detail of Mr Amama Mbabazi.
As Mr Mbabazi led a procession through Ntungamo town, a group of nm enthusiasts lined the road provoking the team. However it was as tone that was thrown at Mbabazi’s security vehicle that speaking running battles…
Earlier in the morning, a Land Cruiser Prado bearing State House registration drove Ms Sarah Kagingo, a former State House employee around Ntungamo town distributing NRM campaign materials.”
The lawyers said their client was not in Ntungamo on that day as alleged but in Kampala and has several witnessed who can attest to this.
The letter says the above published words used in the natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood by right thinking members of society to mean that their client has been involved in criminal electoral malpractices, taken advantage of the office of the State House for personal benefit and is encouraging lawlessness in the country.
“No attempt was made to contact our client to establish the veracity of the alleged claims before you recklessly published them.”
The lawyers said the Monitor statements were completely “false and malicious”, without justification or lawful excuse and have greatly injured their client’s reputation, as a media analyst.
“From the above facts, it is clear that you were not interested in the truth and that your actions were always driven by malice against our client.”
“We are therefore instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that you immediately retract the libelous matter and publish an apology.”
The text of the said apology and retraction, the lawyers instructed, were to be agreed with them in advance and published with equal prominence as the “offending” article.
“We are thereof instructed to put you on notice that our client shall claim damages suffered and costs incurred as a result of the said libel whose quantum we shall communicate to you as soon as the apology is run.”
“If you do not comply within 7 days from the date thereof, we shall institute legal proceedings against you at your cost and peril. If however you have no intention of complying, kindly inform us immediately so that we may institute the proceedings without delay.”
Insider understands that Monitor never replied to the letter no published an apology to that matter.
Kagingo’s lawyers are proceeding with their suit which will be filed in courts of law this week.
Writing on her social media pages, Kagingo said: “By the stroke of a pen, the Daily Monitor placed me at the scene of electoral violence in Ntungamo where I was not. Efforts to get the Monitor to retract the libelous matter have been ignored by the Daily since December 15th 2015.”
Kagngo said she continues continue to receive online threats from those who believed, following the headline, that she participated in electoral violence in Ntungamo.
“Some suggest that I should be hit by supporters of other candidates wherever I am seen!”
Kagingo heads the Communications and Public Affairs of the Operation Wealth Creation, President Museveni’s intervention.
While launching her PR and digital marketing firm, SoftPower Communications LLC, recently, she said: “I wouldn’t rather persuasion over confrontation.”