A student at Law Development Centre (LDC) has run to court seeking Shs 215 million from the state minister for Housing Dr Chris Baryomunsi over alleged defamation.
Godfrey Akampulira aka Akampa in his notice, claims that between August and November 2019, Baryomunsi and five others posted malicious statements on a WhatsApp group known as “Esau and Friends” and other pages against him.
The co-accused are Esau Turyatunga, Austin Agaba, Sam Mugabi George Byomugabi and Ivan Twinobusingye. According to Akampa, the group members accused him of abandoning his wife together with four children in his home village.
Akampa also says that Baryomunsi published another WhatsApp message to a third party indicating that the petitioner had defiled and impregnated his sister but the child died.
“Your malicious statements are libel and actionable under the laws of Uganda as they have caused grave damage to our client’s image and reputation because a number of right-thinking members of society have developed hatred contempt, ridicule against our said client and many more have shunned him," reads the notice in part.
Akampa's lawyers of Higenyi, Ngugo and Wadamba Advocates, say they want Baryomunsi and the five others to issue a written and public apology to him and post them on the same WhatsApp group for a because of the embarrassment, isolation and mental anguish they have caused to him.
Akampa also wants the group to pay him Shs 200 million in damages and Shs 15 million as the minimal legal fees, saying failure to do so in five days will lead to the institution of both civil and criminal proceedings against them.
Baryomunsi couldn’t be reached for comment by the time of filing this story as his known phone number couldn’t go through. But his office confirmed having received the notice.
Last year in November court ordered Baryomunsi to pay businessman Garuga James Musinguzi Garuga, the proprietor of Kinkiizi Development Company Shs 50 million after he was found guilty of contempt of court arising from a 2016 case, where the businessman accused him and Kinkiizi FM of defamation.