Uganda’s former Ethics and Integrity minister James Nsaba Buturo has dragged Rtd Maj John Kazoora to the High Court in Kampala for allegedly defaming him in connection to the panda gari statements carried in one of his published books.
In a suit filed on Thursday, the former minister says Maj Kazoora’s defamatory statements are contained in a book he authored ‘Betrayed by my Leader’ in which he claims has greatly injured his reputation.
The book was published August 2012. The book details Major Kazoora’s evolution from a student to a rebel commander in the National Resistance Army (NRA) and his eventual disillusionment with the cause he had fought for.
Mr Buturo now wants court to issue orders to permanently bar Maj Kazoora who is also the secretary for defense for opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) from publishing any further defamatory statements against him.
Mr Buturo’s suit is prompted by a section on page 38 of Maj Kazoora’s book which allegedly linked him to the infamous ‘panda gari’ (board the truck) in the Obote II government (1981-1985).
In the book, Kazoora alleges that Buturo, who was the then Kampala District Commissioner (1977 to 1986), led the dreaded operations. At the time, many people died, and others disappeared without a trace.
But Buturo denies being part of the operations. He states that Maj Kazoora also uploaded the same contents of the book on the internet under the title ‘Maj. Kazoora exposes Nsaba Buturo’s Panda Gari atrocities’.
He claims that the book has cast him as a person of ill-repute in the eyes of the right-thinking members of the public for which he is demanding for general damages plus costs of the suit.
Court is yet to summon Maj Kazoora to file in his defence before a hearing date can be fixed.