A general in the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) has sued two vocal Acholi MPs, 2017.
Maj. General Otema Awany went to court over statements that were allegedly made by Nwoya MP Simon Oyet and his Kilak South counterpart Gilbert Olanya during a famous local political talk show titled “Wii Bye” on Gulu Fm on May 3, 2017.
Maj. Gen. Otema also sued Jomeo Richard, and Gulu FM Co. Ltd for defamation, permanent injunction, general damages and costs of the suit.
According to documents of the suit, seen by our reporter, Maj. General Otema Awany, alleges that the four defamed him when they, without any justification and through innuendos and slanderous statements defamed him by stating that he is “a killer and a land grabber.”
Olanya confirmed receipt of the suit papers last week but insists that they didn’t in any way defame the senior soldier since it was the truth.
“Right now as I speak, we have got court summons against the four of us. I am telling you that matter was brought before Parliament and the Minister gave a comprehensive report showing that a soldier protecting Maj. General Otema Awany short and killed one Ocama and he apologized to the whole nation saying the matter will be handled,” explained Olanya.
Olanya says that the court summons cannot stop people from demanding their land rights.
Olanya has accused the General of intimidation.
“Stop grabbing our land because you have guns. Stop grabbing land of an individual using your gun. We shall continue reporting you to the President. We shall continue talking about it on the floor of Parliament. Stop grabbing the land of our people even when you are soldiers,” Olanya repeated.
Meanwhile Simon Oyet, Nwoya MP says he heard through social media that he has been summoned to file a defense in court for a defamation case and damaging his reputation.
He adds that he is ready to file a defense if the summon is brought to him because he has all the evidence.
“We are ready to defend ourselves. You can kill somebody but you can never kill information. It’s very easy to kill Simon Oyet but the spirit and information will continue to leave.”
On the other hand, Richard Jomeo, the activist says that he has been receiving life threatening calls on his cell phone and thinks it is connected to his role is joining the Amuru land saga that has seen many people lose their lives and property.
Jomeo adds that all Ugandans under the Constitution must be free. He says his is no longer free to do his work as an activist if there are threats on his life.
“My courage of doing right and doing justice is being threatened. As a citizen of Uganda, I don’t need to have a personal security [guard]. It is a Constitutional mandate enshrined in our constitution that the state must protect its citizens. Me as a citizen and a tax payer, I must feel free to enjoy the privilege and inherent right as a citizen,” Jomeo says.
Bosco Otim, the Regional Police Commander for Aswa River region says no case of threats have been registered by either Jomeo or any other politician in the case.
He advised that all citizens must be conscious of their own security before police comes in to protect their lives and property.