UCU don wins Shs18m in defamation case

BY EMMANUEL OKOT

Dr Richard Ssembatya has won a defamatory case against a city businessman Hajji Hassan Wasswa Bukenya who had accused him of snatching his wife.  

A Magistrate’s  Court in Mengo awarded Dr Ssembatya, the head of the Department of Computing and  Information Technology, Shs18m in general damages and costs.

The ruling was delivered on April 25 by the Mengo Chief Magistrate, Patience Lorna Tukundane.

According to court, in 2016 Hajji Bukenya alleged that Dr Sembatya snatched his wife Sumayiya Nanyondo, a business-woman selling timber in Bwaise, a city suburb. 

Hajji Bukenya also alleged that Dr. Ssembatya later hired one Emmanuel Kasingye to  intimidate him. He alleged that Kasingye met him at Jacalanda Bar in Kampala from where he threatened to harm him if he did not abandon Dr Ssembatya’s wife. 

Court further heard that Hajji Bukenya published a chain of stories in Bukedde newspapers, Bukedde TV and Red Pepper alleging that Dr. Ssembatya had snatched his wife, which stories went viral.

Dr Sembatya  told Court that in 2017 he met with Hajji Bukenya and the later agreed to make a written apology, promising never to defame the former, but  that on August 1, 2017, he again appeared on Bukedde TV Agaliko Nfuufu programme and made similar allegations.

He accused Dr Sembatya of decoying his lover with whom he was preparing an introduction. 

 Hajji Bukenya further  sued Dr. Ssembatya for threatening violence against him and stealing his wife. Owing to that, Dr Ssembatya filed a civil suit against Hajji Bukenya.

The Magistrate pronounced that the Hajji Bukenya’s  testimony before the court and statements made in the media were false and intentionally made to injure the reputation of  Dr Ssembatya.

Court ordered a permanent injunction restraining Hajji Bukenya and his agents from further publication of defamatory content in relation to the issue.

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