Museveni Owes Me Apology
While I am personally considering legal action against those that have defamed my character during the last 20 years, I believe the Museveni government owes me an apology for having put my life at risk by not releasing the outcome of the Scotland Yard investigation in Kayiraâ€™s murder.
[Op-Ed: Part Three of a Series]
Ten years ago, a document was released by a tabloid pamphlet, Uganda Confidential, purporting to be the official report of a Scotland Yard investigation in the assassination of Dr. Andrew Kayira in my house on March 5, 1987.
That document is very much similar to the one released recently by the semi-official New Vision newspaper in Uganda. To many who have read this document, the conclusion seemed to suggest that I had planned and executed the killing of my friend Andrew.
Such an assumption has caused me, my family and relatives, grave pain and sadness. Without having a way to reply toÂ accusations in that document, I have weathered the storm of meeting fellow Ugandans who have pointed fingers at me and in many cases shunned my company.
In fact four years ago when I was in Boston, Massachusetts, I made a call to one of Dr. Kayiraâ€™s daughters. She was reluctant to talk to me saying she had been told I might have been involved in the
For 20 years the NRM government has had this Scotland Yard report. Why has it refused to release it? Why has it left me to be labeled a murderer, a thief and a black marketer? As I am not in Uganda, was the government trying to protect me?
This does not make sense since the report impugns I played a key role in Kayiraâ€™s death? If this is not so, who have they been trying to protect? Addressing a press conference on Thursday, the Chief of the Uganda Police, Maj. Gen Kale Kayihura is quoted as saying that the police have been ordered to arrest the suspects named in the Scotland Yard report. Why was that order not given 20 years ago when the government first saw the report? So many questions remain unanswered!
For the first time, the government has come out to state that I am not a suspect. Why has it taken them this long to say what most of Kayiraâ€™s friends knew anyway? Why did people have to be tear-gassed and others thrown in police cells when the DP tried to release this report a couple of weeks ago? And who does the Uganda Police think it is fooling by ordering DP leaders to report to police to explain why they published the report? I wonder! Is it illegal in Uganda for an opposition party to publish a report of national importance?
Here in the United Kingdom, opposition parties often release â€˜leakedâ€™ documents. Most of Ugandaâ€™s penal codes are still similar to those of this country, Uganda having been a British Protectorate. The Uganda Police owe an explanation to the tax payer as to why it is illegal for an opposition party to expose a government malfunction.
While I am personally considering legal action against those that have defamed my character during the last 20 years, I believe the Museveni government owes me an apology for having put my life at risk by not releasing the outcome of the Scotland Yard investigation in Kayiraâ€™s murder. It also owes me, my wife Victoria and family an apology for causing us such great stress, pain and worry as supporters of the late UFM leader sought an explanation as to the one responsible for the killing of their leader.
It is not only the Ugandan government that faces grave consequences with regards to the way I have been treated. I have in my collection a number of quotes by government officials who deliberately went out to confuse the public my claiming that the killers of Kayira could not be brought to justice because; the key witness is abroad.
Ugandan newspapers will also face a huge bill when I seek damages from them for the way they have defamed me. The laws of defamation are quite clear and are quite similar throughout the British Commonwealth of Nations. Here in the United Kingdom, the country â€œrecognizes in every man a right to have the estimation in which he stands in the opinion of others unaffected by false and defamatory statements and imputations.â€?
The defamatory statements made against me since I left Uganda are indeed libelous. The UK also recognizes that a person is defamed if he is exposed to hatred, ridicule or contempt. He is defamed if defamatory statements against them lead to them being shunned or avoided, lower him in the estimation of right-thinking members of society or disparage him in his business, trade, office or profession. All the above has happened to me.
Here I must make it very clear. It is not only the Ugandan Government and the Ugandan press that face court action against the defamation of my character. If it is proved that the report as it appeared in both the Uganda Confidential pamphlet and New Vision is indeed that as given by Scotland Yard to the Museveni Government in 1987, I will not have any hesitation in instructing my solicitors to file for libel against the British Metropolitan Police.
Publisher's Note: GombyaÂ worked for the BBC at the time of the Kayira murder. He has since been exiled from Uganda.
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