The commander of the 71st Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) battalion, Maj Travers Kibuuka is demanding at least Shs 600 million from Daily Express, an online media platform over a story that they published in March that allegedly defamed him.
In the story, two women accuse Maj Kibuuka of torture, resulting in broken legs and arms following an arson attack on Easter Sunday that left 14 houses burnt to ashes in the Acholi community. According to the story, Kibuuka has been frequently visiting Ngora East in northern Uganda, with the intent of grabbing over 300 acres of land for an unnamed Indian investor.
Now in an intention to sue notice to Daily Express through his lawyer Conrad Oroya of Conrad Oroya and Co Advocates, Kibuuka demands that the story be pulled down, saying that the story falsely purports him as a masquerader on a state mission to pacify Apaa area.
Apaa has been at the centre of violent attacks leading to injuries and loss of lives and properties, primarily between the Acholi and Madi communities who are disputing over land ownership and the boundary between Amuru and Adjumani districts.
He also denies claims in the published story that ever since he was deployed in Apaa region, the rate of illegal land sales has shot up.
Kibuuka says such allegations are not only untrue but are unsubstantiated without evidence and were intended to disrupt and lower his reputation in the eyes of right-thinking members of the public, including his appointing authorities. He says the story portrays him as corrupt, a thief, a bandit, and a polluter of the ecosystem whereas not.
He wants Shs 600 million as damages for injuries to his reputation, caused by the false, malicious, and defamatory publications, an apology, the withdrawal of the publications from online, and payment of Shs 50 million as court costs.