A section of Bamasaaba, especially in Namisindwa District has expressed concern over the continued malicious attacks on Hon. Simon Mulongo, by the Bubulo East Member of Parliament, Hon. John Musila. Mulongo who is the former MP Bubulo East is currently at African Union Commission HQs, leading on the AU Strategy on the Sahel.
Stakeholders argue that Mulongo, the special Envoy at the African Union Commission, working at the Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia should put aside his patience and kind heartedness and seek legal redress to tame Musila, who has reportedly made it a habit of defaming the former who is currently out of the country on special duties.
‘’ It seems Hon. Musila is not working for Unity.We are shocked that even when Mulongo earlier forgave him, he has started from where he stopped on trading malice against the special envoy’, said Mzee Abili Makutusi, the Magale Town Council head of LCs.
Hon. John Musila landed in trouble after an alleged defamation against Mulongo and the latter sought compensation of Shillings 550 million for the damages arising from the defamatory audio message and utterances by the legislator. The matter is in court.
Through his lawyers of Katumba and Company Advocates, Mulongo claimed that Musila had on several occasions willfully defamed him, something that tainted his reputation.
Mulongo also claimed that while appearing on Elgon FM in Mbale City on November 14th, 2021 and while campaigning in Bupoto and Magale areas in Namisindwa district on November 16th, 2021, Musila further defamed him in similar terms as those contained in his impugned audio recording.
He claimed that as a result of Musila’s wilful defamation his reputation has since been dented, held in contempt, hated, embarrassed, ridiculed, and held in odium amongst his peers and members of society. Katumba and Company Advocates want Musila to compensate their client for the damages.
However, following unrelenting attacks, the special envoy had responded saying he now considers proceeding with the case which he had relaxed when the two had a handshake at Bumbo, at The Salvation Army church ceremony. Both are Salvationists, an Anglican denomination that has a quasi-military organisation.
In the suit, Mulongo had asked Musila to author, publish and cause to be published an audio apology within seven days from receipt of the notice.
BELOW IS MULONGO’S STATEMENT
Good evening and good day to Bamasaba particularly those of Namisindwa. My name is Simon Wetende Mulongo, a special envoy at the African Union commission working at the headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
Permit me to just say a few things regarding the current hot talk about the arrests of the suspected murderers of a supporter to one of the candidates who contested in previous general elections, which happened at Kabooyi Polling Station, Bumwoni Sub County, Namisindwa District.
It will be recalled that on 31 March 2022 I heard on one of the local radio stations in our region called Elgon FM, my good friend Hon. John Musila was condemning the arrest of one of his supporters and that he knew it was orchestrated by violent people and people who love violence and that we are the same people who caused the death of 9 people who died in Tabakwa in Buwabwala; and he claims that he witnessed this and that the very person who caused that was the same one who created violence, threats and intimidations during elections and so on and I wouldn’t want to go into those things.
But it will again be recalled that the same person on 23 January 2022 at the Salvations Army church function at Bumbo, he invited me to the front, before a multitude of worshippers and shook my hand, took me around as people cheered in jubilation, that we had reconciled and come together and so I relaxed on proceeding with the case in court.
Because I felt we had reconciled, I had ignored the matter, but now just two months later, he has started doing the same thing, pointing fingers at me and yet I am so innocent about all that’s happening. Am in Addis Ababa and wouldn’t know such local issues at home.
I had no an idea on who was arrested and who even did the murder and who has been taken where until when I enquired and they told me that one person had been arrested.
Later, when one or two more suspects were arrested he again was vehemently condemning some others who he claims were suspected to be on the racket of trying to arrest all his agents and that they have been listed for an arrest.
I want to say this, first of all the issue at hand is about crime, about the suspected murder of a youthful man, a person with a family from a home and has relatives and friends, and this people correctly so took measures to record statements and complaints to the Police.
They must have stated their suspicions with reasons why certain people were said to have been involved in a murder and as such this becomes a police matter.
Murder as you know is a crime and it means it’s an offense supposed to be of interest of state versus the defendant; as opposed to a civil case where it usually involve private disputes and between persons or organisations and the complaint settle their issues with the defendant. But when it comes to a crime involving an act that is considered to be harmful to society, it’s the responsibility of the state to protect its people, and hence it becomes the state versus the defendant or suspects and in this case are the people who are aggrieved to become merely witnesses.
So in this case it’s the state that has taken interest in the matter and wants to prosecute it.
Now if investigations have been done and concluded by the police then we leave the police to do its work because in any case whichever arrests they make, they must have supporting evidence for them to be able to produce them in court. The state attorney will review the files and confirm that the case can stand, otherwise it cannot proceed beyond that.
So when I heard subsequent mobilization of the community to rise up because they have become a sacrifice for him, I think this is taking another dimension, for I don’t think the entire lot of agents which I don’t know there may be hundreds or a thousand, can be taken to be suspects in such a case.
And somebody is saying this with confidence that “all my agents numbering 28 in every sub county are lined up for arrest,’’ I think this amounts to mobilization for violence and I don’t think it’s correct.
If the police are doing their work, it’s a legal entity authorized to investigate, arrest and produce people to courts for prosecution and they’re the ones mandated to do that.
We must be firm and confident to know that these are rightful people to do that, except when you see irregularities then you can actually challenge them with the rightful means but not to go on radio stations to mobilize the community to raise up. Definitely this is mobilization for violence and this is wrong for leaders of such status.
If the said suspects were just kidnapped and we don’t know who kidnapped them then you’re free to go to the community, radios and other media and say that because you don’t know who did it, it is alarming.
But they were arrested by the people who are known, they are kept in gazetted places that are clearly known, so we cannot say we mobilize the population to rise up.
And we should not, as leaders, politicize such an action because I don’t think this is just politics and also ridicule a flag bearer, that “he who claims to be a flag bearer”. A flag bearer is the one who is declared officially by the party, representing that party for a given elective position and for BUBULO EAST purposes, the primaries of NRM, Hon. Richard Mataya won, even if he lost in the general elections. So he remains the Flag Bearer and if the party leadership invites the structures, including the electoral areas, to go to high level meetings, it’s Hon. Richard Mataya who would go because he’s the Flag Bearer. That is unchallenged and we shouldn’t falsify facts and in fact leaders should learn to speak factually not speaking imagined things and lies and so I condemn that.
Coming to issues of my case I think now that a colleague, after I had stopped the process, and with this continued attacks on my person, I will have to proceed undoubtedly with the matter including the recent utterances because then, what can I do?
I have been patient for the last two years. I had never opened my mouth with all the allegations, accusations, rubbishing and calling me names.
It’s my first time trying to respond to this and I want to respond to the issues of accusations, blackmail against me because I know the matter will be before the courts of judicature.
But mine is to say as leaders, we should not falsify facts. We should not politicize a crime, particularly if the police is doing its work and we know them. If they break any rule, we know how to go about it, using legal means, to challenge them.
But it’s wrong for us to politicize and mobilize for violence.
Those who supported whoever candidate, they did it so legally and nobody should ever criminalize supporters.
It’s wrong to say because people supported you there criminals, that’s not there and it should never arise.
And we as leaders must come up clearly and correctly advise the communities accordingly. Let’s not use the community as a shield for anything that’s criminal
Let’s allow justice to be done because whatever has happened to the side of the aggrieved may happen to you too, and you will also need this justice.
So for that matter I want to appeal to leaders and my colleagues in the region and particularly Namisindwa to remain calm and to tell our people correct things, to make them understand that whatever it is, it is a case of an incident that happened and to allow the investigation to be carried out; and in any case there’s any suspect, then they will be subjected to the judicial process.
Thank you so much, I remain SIMON MULONGO.