A Daily Monitor newspaper journalist who was yesterday banned from covering Buganda Kingdom events by Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga has shot back claiming the kingdom leader is not telling the truth.
Last evening, we told of how unforgiving Charles Peter Mayiga, the outspoken Buganda Kingdom Prime minister (Katikkiro) has banned a journalist working with Daily Monitor over a ‘false’ story.
On April 24, 2020, the Daily Monitor apologized to the Kabaka of Buganda, the Katikkiro Owek Charles Peter Mayiga, Kingdom officials and the people of Buganda for writing a ‘baseless’ story regarding a grant that was awarded by the US Embassy to Buganda Kingdom.
The offending story had been published on Monday April 20, 2020 that the US Embassy had awarded the Kingdom USD250,000 (Shs950m) and portrayed the Kingdom as being managed by dishonest people who misappropriated it.
The Kingdom and the US Embassy both confirmed that the money in question was USD5,000 (Shs14.9m) at the time meant for installing an information board at the Kasubi Royal Tombs. The money was supposed to be used in a specific timeframe which wasn’t possible and the Kingdom returned the money in January 2017 as per the terms of the agreement.
Now journalist James Kabemgwa, the story author, has challenged the Katikkiro to reveal the truth.
Here’s his letter;
“Katikkiro Mayiga, tell the truth.
Dear Ow’ekitiibwa Charles Peter Mayiga, Katikkiro of Buganda Kingdom.
I had desisted to address your insinuations of impropriety against me regarding the story of the funding of Kasubi tombs by the United States Embassy. That story had some figure error. This was corrected and in a tweet you told the public life would continue. Everyone thought the matter had been resolved.
But during your yesterday’s (May 11), State of the Kingdom address I was surprised when you ressurected the same matter using insinuations of corruption to attack my personality and alleging I am being sponsored to write ills about the kingdom and your administration.
In three documents authored by the kingdom and in many radio and tv interviews, yourself and officials have erroneously indicated that via what’s app messages I threatened top kingdom officials of a damaging story. I know as lawyer you are aware that this is non substantial. And it is even explained by your shift yesterday from that allegation to an even more fragile non evidenced statement that there are people sponsoringme to soil your administration.
Surely I know there is a lot of anger but I know you can reconsider yourself to correct what cannot be substantiated. Let’s tell the truth.
One of your top officials had also accused me of being bankrolled by people who are fighting your administration. I asked him to present such evidence straight to my bosses but he vanished in thin air. We don’t have to blackmail to achieve our desires.
The US-Kasubi figures has already been resolved. The public may raise questions of whether now what started as an official matter is becoming personal.
I don’t want to remember a futile past three year mission to gag me or expel me from Bulange over knowledge and some reporting on controversial land matters and my refusal to bow to your demands. This seems to now be escalating the situation.
Going back to purpose of my open letter to you, I think as a lawyer and leader of our powerful institution, you may choose to correct these statements to correct a record.
1. Insinuations of corruption against me.
2.That I threatened kingdom officials.
In your Monday speech you said of me: “There is a journalist James Kabengwa, a Muganda. We (have) caution (ed) him not to write ebyaswakaba (controversies). He doesn’t pay heed because there are people abamugira ekintu kino kyemutegedde (touching into the pockets).They want to spoil our names. We will punish James Kabengwa deservingly. And I asked the minister for information to ask for his replacement…..to get us another reporter. I don’t want to see Kabengwa in Bulange because this is not the first time. We don’t want this one who come to write controversies, creating anxiety among our people…”
Of course that type of rhetoric isn’t particularly unusual in search for either sympathy, blackmailing and planting hatred.
Today’s Buganda is that of analytical people. And moreover they know my loyalty to my King, Ronald Mutebi. Everyone can judge my fairness in the way I write stories….You may take a sample of some of my articles via this link( https://muckrack.com/jameskabengwa)
On covering Mengo issues, well I may not do that again, but an arbitrary order to stop me from visiting Bulange, the epitome of my culture may be illegal unless you have now declared I am no longer a Muganda or that you have ordered of my name from my Mamba clan.”