KAMPALA — Plot 10 Kyadondo Road, Nakasero, the seat of the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is known for political fights, intrigue and sometimes public spats by its leaders. At one time it was the party’s elections chief, Dr.
Tanga Odoi tussling it out with the Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba. This time around, Captain Francis Babu, a senior member of the party, is on the receiving end of the fighting spirit of Kasule Lumumba who has, through her lawyers, threatened Captain Francis Babu with legal action if he does not publicly apoologise to her over statements he made on NBS TV’s Barometer talk show where he accused the party’s supremo of sponsoring National Unity Platform (NUP) candidates against NRM candidates.
Capt. Babu did not go into the specifics of his claims but his allegations aroused a social media debate and speculation.
Lumumba, angered by Babu’s comments, now wants to take the bull by its horns and is happy to fight with the ex Kampala central legislator in the legal ring should he not swallow humble pie and say sorry.
In a letter written on her instructions and on her behalf, Lumumba’s lawyers, Anguria and Co. Advocates wrote, “In the course of your deliberation on the said talk show, you claimed without offering evidence to your audience of thousands of viewers across the world, that the Secretary General offered support to the opposition party, National Unity Platform (NUP) and sponsored some of that party’s candidates against her own party’s flag bearers. In effect, it was your submission by way of innuendo, that the Secretary General of the NRM was abusing her public office by working against the interests of her party, undermining the NRM and acting with hypocrisy.”
According to Lumumba’s lawyers, Babu’s, “inflammatory, careless and dishonourable statement has obliterated our client’s otherwise hard-earned reputation and standing in the hearts and minds of reasonable members of the public locally and internationally.”
Since the broadcasting of what they call a patently defamatory and false statement by Babu, “our client, a distinguished senior citizen who has over the last three decades worked so hard and consistently to build an estimable reputation as a leader of integrity throughout her public life and service to the Republic of Uganda, is now the subject of unwarranted and disruptive misinformation and disinformation, all springing from your spiteful statement.”
Captain Babu is yet to respond to the letter while NBS TV, which the Secretary General demands an apology from, is also yet to reply to her demand notice.
We contacted Kasule Lumumba for a comment to rebut or confirm the claims made by Babu but she asked our reporter to speak to her lawyer, Mr. Ivan Okuda, an Associate at Anguria & Co. Advocates on the matter.
In response to our journalist’s question, Okuda replied by email, “Our client’s position is that Capt. Babu’s statements were, without a scintilla of doubt, out of taste and harmony with the truth, the reality and the lived experience of his peers who are witnesses to the integrity, decorum and good faith with which our client conducts her public duties.
Whereas she is not thunderstruck by these wild and shocking allegations, considering that propaganda and intrigue is part of the occupational hazards of political office, she is jealously protective of her hard-earned reputation and has no intention of sleeping on her fundamental right to a good name,” adding, “It is our client’s contention that Mr. Babu’s statements are false and should be disregarded with utmost contempt. Should he insist on pursuing this desperate, despisable and despicable line of misinformation and disinformation against our client, we hope that he can prove his rather false, poisonous and malicious statements whose intent is to infect reasonable members of the public with spite against our client. Our client demands that he restrains himself from this reckless journey of malice and defamation.”