MIRUNDI CAN BE SUED B’SE HE IS NOT ABOVE THE LAW: M7 CLEARS GOVT BOSSES TO SUE HIS SR CADRE MIRUNDI WHEN HE DEFAMES THEM
By Mulengera Reporters
Over the weekend, some of the government officials and technocrats met President Museveni and reported to him that his spin doctor Joseph Tamale Mirundi is making it hard for them to work because he uses his radio and TV talk shows to occasion malicious propaganda against them. That the sustained attacks he has directed at them over the years have in effect demonized them before the public besides demoralizing those working under them at the different government MDAs. “We have been considering instructing our lawyers to sue him in defamation but we decided to seek your concurrence first because he creates an impression he is doing all this in your interest. He creates an impression that you are the one who clears him to maliciously target civil servants in his radio and TV talk shows,” some of the accounting officers reportedly said to the President.
Sources privy to the weekend discussions say that even before seeking the HE’s consent, some of the accounting officers had already instructed lawyers who are now busy compiling evidence of the different media utterances the self-made man from Kalisizo rural has been making targeting them. After listening to the government officials, who assured him they were speaking for many others belonging to a loose association of the Mirundi victims, Gen Museveni reportedly told them it’s their right to sue Mirundi if they find some of his utterances false and defamatory. “He told them yes I know the good job Mr. Mirundi does of defending me and the NRM but I have never sent him to abuse any of you on those radios. I don’t believe in abusing people. If you have a good case, you are free to take him to court and I don’t even understand why you had to first seek permission from me. I personally don’t believe in the approach of abusing people; not even my political opponents,” sources quoted Gen Museveni as saying.
The government officials, four of them in number, had even carried some of the visual and audio recordings of Mirundi saying uncharitable stuff about them but the man from Rwakitura declined any of them being played to him. “Take all that to court,” he was quoted as saying as he discouraged the idea of any of Mirundi recordings being played for his benefit. He said he knows his man Mirundi can be “very combative sometimes” but stressed that doesn’t mean he can tell lies targeting public officials and get away with it. Gen Museveni explained that in Uganda, everything is governed by the laws adding that since courts of law are open and available for anyone to seek redress, those feeling unfairly attacked by Mirundi should seek remedy there.
After the meeting, the officials who met the HE reached out to those who didn’t go and it was agreed they each file separate civil defamation suits targeting both Mirundi and the respective media houses that give him platform while acquiescing to his attacks seeking to deflate key government officials that he keeps calling ‘mafia.’ Ps Jackson Senyonga’s Top Radio, Kin Kariisa’s NBS, Ps Joseph Serwadda’s Impact fm and Pearl fm are some of the media platforms the eloquent Tamale Mirundi uses to verbally obliterate his targets.
Some of his victims have, after securing the President’s no objection, considered suing even UCC under Judicial Review application to secure court orders compelling it to demand that Tamale Mirundi begins to be subjected to similar broadcasting standards and controls that apply to all the other people that use the regulated media space namely radios and TV. They will be seeking a court order of mandamus compelling the EC to begin doing its work in relation to requiring all media houses to realize that the broadcasting standards that constrain use of inflammatory and abusive language are equally applicable to Mirundi the way they apply to all the other users of the airwaves.
Mulengera News understands that as the lawyers get down to draft the notices of intention to sue for the different government officials (targeting Mirundi & his hosts), some young men in Kampala who are IT savvy have been contracted to go on platforms like YouTube to trace and compile all the shows on which Mirundi appeared and levelled off key government officials in a manner that is defamatory. It’s also true that, because there is currently not much business in the market, some lawyers have been reaching out to the different Mirundi victims while inciting them to consider suing him for the tort of civil defamation.
Since he began securing authorization from media owners to appear alone and speak uncontradicted, Mirundi’s victims have been many. They include Gilbert Bukenya, Keith Muhakanizi, Andrew Mwenda, Odrek Rwabwogo, Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, PS Diana Atwine, Justine Bagyenda, Apollo Makubuya, business man Omar Mandela of Café Javas/City Oils, Katikkiro Mayiga, Daudi Mpanga, Robert Kabushenga, Grace Akullo, Tanga Odoi, Lt. Col Edith Nakalema, Sarah Kagingo, Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso, Maria Kiwanuka, Jessica Alupo, Energy Ministry officials, Amama Mbabazi, Frank Tumwebaze, IGG Irene Mulyagonja, Allen Kagina, Molly Kamukama, Sam Kutesa, Frank Kaka Bagyenda, Archbishop Lwanga, Kyewalabye Male, Pastor Aloysius Bugingo, the judges, MMAKS law firm and the BoU officials just to mention a few.
In resolving to begin suing Mirundi, some of the hitherto indifferent government officials have reflected on how the likes of Wavamunno, Miria Matembe & Winnie Byanyima etc used the same courts of law (each filing multiple defamation suits) to overcome Teddy Ssezi Cheeye whose Uganda Confidential newsletter had (many years ago) turned into a torture chamber for many prominent citizens. Whereas the state didn’t easily manage to bring down the once very popular newsletter, individual citizens managed cowing down Cheeye through individual civil suits which resulted into folding of the newsletter that was famous for ‘splitting the atom.’ At the end of the day, Cheeye lost so many defamation suits and run out of money to keep paying damages and had to apply to court to be declared bankrupt to escape the remainder of his financial obligations arising out of lost defamation suits. The idea is to have multiple civil suits filed so that at the end of the day Mirundi gets overwhelmed and bows out. It’s also aimed at making it risky for radios and TV stations to host him without having a strong moderator to keep contradicting his attacks while requiring him to produce hard evidence. Gratefully, Mirundi always carries an audio recorder to keep a record of all his utterances at all talk shows.
He has always used innuendo to obliterate his targets by referencing on words like Abakooto (to imply the President’s sons-in-law), Ba Mafia, Ntwe ya Pussy (in reference to Andrew Mwenda) and others. Whereas he vigorously used to attack NRM SG Kasule Lumumba, Lawrence Mulindwa and Pius Bigirimana, Mirundi somehow ceased fire and became an avid defender of the trio. The circumstances of that U-turn remain unknown. He also used to talk ill of Justice Catherine Bamugemereire but curiously changed and defends her these days. It’s perhaps because he got better facts than he originally had about her.
There are also people he has always defended including Mohammed Nsereko, Frank Gashumba, Sir Gordon Wavamunno, Amelia Kyambadde, Gordon Wavamunno, Moses Kigongo, the defunct UTODA bosses, Gen Kale Kayihura, President Museveni, Rebecca Kadaga, Sudhir Ruparelia, Pastor Jackson Senyonga, Ps Serwadda (naturally because they allow him to speak on their radios), Muhoozi Kainerugaba (perhaps because he is the President’s son), Mohammed Sebuwufu, Abdul Kitata, Sheikh Nuhu Muzaata, Prof Anthony Mbonye, PS Asuman Lukwago, tycoon Godfrey Kirumira and a few others.
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