City lawyer Male Mabirizi has dragged Tamale Mirundi, the presidential advisor on media affairs to court for alleged defamation.
In his suit before the High court, Mabirizi alleges that Mirundi defamed him while appearing on 107.9 Pearl FM last Saturday, March 23, 2019. Mabirizi contends that while on the show, Mirundi claimed that he is occasionally used by Foreign Affairs minister, Sam Kutesa who is interested in taking over the job of the speaker of parliament currently occupied by Rebecca Kadaga.
According to Mabirizi, Mirundi's insinuations were prompted when he (Mabirizi) filed a suit seeking orders to quash the March 12 parliament resolution to issue promissory notes of Shs 1.4 trillion to FINASI/ROKO Company to facilitate the construction of the proposed international specialized hospital at Lubowa in Wakiso district.
In his suit, Mabirizi quotes Mirundi as saying that the reason as to why Kadaga is currently hospitalized in Nairobi is because she got some 'shocking news' following the election of Buganda NRM caucus committee under the patronage of Kutesa. Kadaga was first admitted at Nakasero hospital on Thursday last week before she was airlifted to Nairobi for advanced treatment. Officially, her principal press secretary, Sam Obbo says Kadaga is suffering from effects of jet-lag and fatigue after long hour flights to Morocco, USA to attend workshops and meetings.
“We know who uses that child, he may be beaten several sticks he does not know. That child you…I saw them saying that he is a lawyer…this one who is not a lawyer who also went to the Supreme court," Mabirizi quotes Mirundi in his suit.
According to Mabirizi, the said programme was also broadcast on Pearl FM’s YouTube channel and had been watched/listened to by 19,109 people by the time he filed the case. He contends that the statements by Mirundi are substantially false, malicious and defamatory, which are meant to portray him as unreliable person.
He says the statements exposed him to ridicule, odium (hatred) and contempt and lowered his reputation in the eyes of the right thinking members of society. Mabirizi explains that he has never had any dealings, whether personal or otherwise with Sam Kutesa, arguing that there is no way he could be using him.
He says Mirundi’s statements have damaged his reputation among people who had earlier taken him to be a serious person fighting for truth and fairness because they now view him in bad light. Mabirizi wants Mirundi to retract his statements using the same way they were broadcast and circulated.
He also wants an apology and costs of general damages. Court has summoned Mirundi to file his defense within fourteen days before the matter is allocated to a judge for hearing. This is not the first time the controversial Mirundi is being sued for defamation.
In 2012, the then ministry of Works permanent secretary, Charles Muganzi sued Mirundi when he alleged that he and other officials had deliberately with theft intentions, sunk a government passenger ferry in Lake Victoria. Mirundi opted for an out of court settlement and compensated Muganzi Shs 150 million.
Muganzi also accused Mirundi of insinuating that he was among a small clique of thieves (mafia) in government who should be content with their vast bounty that they had got.
Before he was fired in 2015, Mirundi was Museveni's longest serving spokesperson (12 years) and is not shy to stir up controversy against anyone anywhere. He made a name for himself by taking pride in ridiculing those who challenged the presidency.
He often referred to himself as “Museveni’s barking dog" that attacks anyone considered a ‘threat’ to its master.
These included; former vice president, Gilbert Bukenya, former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, Kabaka Ronald Mutebi and his premier Charles Peter Mayiga, minister for presidency Frank Tumwebaze, former Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) executive director Jennifer Musisi, Kampala mayor Erias Lukwago, former FDC party president Kizza Besigye, New Vision boss, Robert Kabushenga and many others.