KAMPALA – Events promoter Balaam Barugahara has threatened legal action against government-owned New Vision’s sister publication, Kampala Sun for alleged defamation.
Through his lawyers Isabirye & Co. Advocates, Barugahara wrote to the editor-in-chief of the New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation on July 1, notifying the publication of his intention to take legal action in vengeance for what he called deliberate, sustained and malicious campaign to depict him as a fraudster and exorcists in a story linking him to cranes cash.
Balaam wants the Government paper to pay him UGX 1billion for a story published that insinuated that “Balaam harasses Uganda Cranes over Sevo Cash”. He says that a failure to secure the money and the apology within the next three days will leave him with only one option, legal action.
In the story, it is suggested that Balaam is wrestling with Uganda Cranes players for a share of money given to them by President Museveni, describes as false and baseless.
Balaam says the publication has since caused him emotional pain impeached his integrity as a businessman including lowering “his reputation in the right-thinking members of the society”.
“Our client, instructs us to demand, as we that you immediately apologize to him for the falsehoods published against him retract the same and further compensate him for the pain, described above, that you have occasioned, now estimated to a sum of Uganda shillings One billion,” reads the letter from the lawyers.
President Museveni made the pledge after Uganda arrived from Egypt from the 32nd Afcon edition and, according to the Cranes Captain Denis Onyango, the head of state is yet to honor the pledge as of now.
Museveni made the promise at State House in Entebbe on July 8, 2019, after the Cranes, under French coach Sebastien Desabre went on to reach the knockout stage. They were eliminated by eventual finalists Senegal in the Round of 16 after going down 1-0.
The Cranes had never qualified into the knockout stage since their ultimate appearance, against hosts Ghana, in Accra in 1978.
Several Cranes players say they have grown out of patience now given the time it has taken for the head of state to settle the promise. It is now almost one year since Museveni made the promise where he had also stated the players would get a lion’s share from the money.
The position of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) has always been that the government will eventually settle the promise.