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KABUSHENGA SUMMONED OVER MONITOR BOY’S PHOTO

By Mulengera Reporter

The Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala has ordered Vision Printing and Publishing Company Limited (Vision Group) to formally respond to a suit filed by award-winning Daily Monitor Photojournalist Alex Esagala over a photo used by Bukedde Newspaper.

In December 2019, Esagala, through his lawyers of Kaggwa & Kaggwa Advocates, informed Vision Group of his intention to sue the largest media group in Uganda over infringement of copyright.

However, Vision Group ignored the photographer’s notice, leaving him with no option but to sue.

Esagala is demanding Shs400m from Vision Group in usage fees and damages stemming from Bukedde newspaper’s use of his photo without acknowledging him as the original source or seeking his consent before using it.

The photo, taken during an April 16, 2018 strike at Makerere University, featured in a story Bukedde published on page 18 of the publication’s November 25, 2019 issue.

Now, about two months since Esagala ran to court, the temple of justice has directed Vision Group, led by CEO Robert Kabushenga, to file its defence ahead of hearing of the landmark case that could greatly define the future relationship of Monitor Publications (and Nation Media Group) and Vision Group, arguably the largest media groups in the country.

According to a notice the court registrar sent to Vision Group on February 10, 2020, Kabushenga and his team have 15 days within which to file their defence from the date of summons.

Mulengera News has learnt that Vision Group’s legal department confirmed receipt of the order at 4:15pm on the same day it was issued.

“Should you fail to file a defence on or before the date mentioned, the plaintiff [Esagala] may proceed with the suit and judgement may be given in your absence,” the registrar noted in his notice.

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