Former Presidential candidate Col Dr Kizza Besigye has put on notice the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and two party officials, whom he accuses of misusing his remarks for the benefit of the party and President Yoweri Museveni ahead of next year’s elections.
Dr Besigye yesterday sent out a letter of intention-to-sue to the NRM as well as the party deputy spokesman Ofwono Opondo and President Museveni’s press secretary Don Wanyama, who allegedly shared the advert on their social media platforms.
The said officials however, insist that Besigye cannot distance himself from his own comments, terming the law suit as “laughable.”
The advert includes a clip from an old televised interview in which Dr Besigye described Museveni as a “strategic thinker.”
“He (Museveni) thinks through an issue in a strategic sense from the beginning to the end. He looks at where he should be in a long time, not just in the next few days, or in the next one year but in a strategic sense and that is an area where there is a lot of weakness of our leaders, people thinking short term trying to have short term objectives,” Besigye explains in the clip.
However, the former four-time presidential candidate and longtime rival of the president accuses the NRM of taking his comments out of context and intentionally leaving out important points.
Besigye notes that in the long version of the interview, he went on to explain that Museveni’s strategic thinking is usually to serve his own interests.
His message, he says, was meant to portray the president as a “strategic thinker who makes draconian policies and strategies that personally benefit him to prolong his stay in power for selfish interests. “
But the NRM message, he says, “deliberately distorted” his message and that the NRM never sought his consent.
As such, through his lawyers of Lukwago and Co. Advocates, Besigye wants the NRM and the said officials to retract the said advert from social media.
He also demands a public apology “in the same mode you published the defamatory statements. “
“Should you fail to comply within Seven (7) days from the date hereof, our Client will be constrained to commence legal proceedings against you, jointly, severally and vicariously, at your cost, detriment and obvious embarrassment.”
When reached for a comment however, Don Wanyama described Besigye’s Move as laughable.
“I have only read about the intention to sue on social media,” he said.
“But it is a laughable suit. How can your own utterances be defamatory? Anyway, the lawyers will respond if served”