Posted 2012/11/29

Uganda: Journalist Ronald Ssembuusi to be Tried for Defamation Following his Report on Disappearance of Solar Panels

Central Broadcasting Service (CBS) radio journalist Ronald Ssembuusi has been told by a court in Kalangala on 28 November 2012 that he will face trial after accusations of defamation were made against him by Central Uganda region district Chairman David Kikoola.

The case relates to a story by the journalist aired on 17 November 2011 which reported that Chairman Kikoola was under investigation following the disappearance of around 40 solar panels donated by the African Development Bank in 2010. These panels were part of a consignment of 80 that had been assigned by the Ministry of Water and Environment to help circulate clean and safe water in Kalangala Town Council.

Ronald Ssembuusi is being defended by lawyer Catherine Anite on behalf of the Human Rights Network for Journalists who have reported that they are 'impressed by the expeditious way in which this matter is being handled by the Court and is optimistic that the journalist will be acquitted.'

Central to the evidence fielded in Ronald’s defence is a letter, that he claims was the basis of his story, sent from Water ministry to the Kalangala Town Clerk regarding the loss of solar panels.