Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi Maj. Gen. (Retired) Matayo Kyaligonza has vehemently denied assaulting a female traffic Police officer and a journalist. In a twist of events the army veteran has instead dragged the duo to court for defamation and general damages.
In late February, the media was awash with reports accusing of Kyaligonza alongside his bodyguards L/CPL Peter Bushindiki and Private John Robert Okurut, of assaulting Sergeant Esther Namaganda at Seeta in Mukono.
“I condemn the act of defamation and falsehood written against me. I was there and I saw what happened. The traffic policewoman is a very indiscipline officer; why did she hold my escorts by the collar? She must retract her falsehood and failure to do, we shall meet in court. She must prove that she was assaulted,”
Addressing a media conference at Emin Pasha Hotel in Kampala yesterday, Kyaligonza said as an aggrieved person he had instructed his lawyers to sue Namaganda and Uganda Broadcasting Corporation journalist Peter Otai. The journalist was also allegedly assaulted for recording the incident at the scene.
Otai, through his lawyers, Alaka and Company Advocates is demanding sh500m from Kyaligonza over assault and violation of his rights. But Kyaligonza’s lawyers have also written to Otai’s lawyers demanding for sh1b in damages and another sh300m as legal fees.
“We have full instructions to vehemently defend the intended frivolous suit your client’s chagrin and colossal costs in the event you wish to pursue a lackadaisical threat. As a result, our client has suffered damages that your client pays sh1b and sh300m legal fees within seven days,”
Kyaligonza’s lawyers wrote.
He said: “I will sue that woman and a journalist who claim to have been assaulted and they will regret.”Kyaligonza
Kyaligonza, one of the pioneer bush war fighters who ushered in National Resistance Movement. Otai vowed not to bow to intimidation from Kyaligonza.
“It’s okay, we shall meet in court and I will prove beyond reasonable doubt that his escorts assaulted me. I have a letter from a Police surgeon which confirms that I was assaulted. I have pictures of wounds on my body,”
Namaganda said she had no comment because the case was still under investigation. She, however wondered why the retired general would sue an assault victim. Kyaligonaza who described himself as an astute and civilized person wondered why some people are bent towards soiling his name.
“I am a human being with a family and people who look up to me,” he said.Kyaligonza
Asked why it took him a month to react to what he describes as false accusations, Kyaligonza replied:
“I am a trained soldier. If an enemy strikes, you wait before the next action and calculate his intention. I was waiting for their story to get finished. I was calculative.” “I am not a slapping machine. This Kyaligonza is provoked all the time. He fought for freedom and he needs freedom too,” he said.
He slammed MPs for passing a resolution urging the President to recall him from Burundi.
“MPs are stupid. You cannot condemn a person who has not been given a fair hearing. You cannot recall me because you are not the one who appointed me. The President asked me about what he was reading in the press and I told him my side of the story. What the MPs passed was a waste of time. How did the Speaker fail to guide them?” he asked.Kyaligonza
Kyaligonaza particularly blasted MPs for saying the traffic officer should be promoted because she was assaulted. He said it was unfair to arrest his bodyguards for assault but hastened to add:
“It was to impress the public because we are a law-abiding government. That traffic woman belittled me before my escorts and they took offence.”Matayo