Convicted Makerere research fellow, Dr. Stella Nyanzi’s lawyers have lodged a complaint against NBS journalist and news reporter Canary Mugume over what they called ‘unbalanced, misguided and suspicious publicity’ against their client.
The complaint originates from a Monday morning show on the TV station where Mugume together with a group of other NBS employees hosted ACP Frank Baine, the Uganda Prisons Public Relations Officer to discuss a number of issues among which was the detention of Dr. Nyanzi.
Led by Isaac Ssemakadde, Dr. Nyanzi’s lawyers from the Centre for Legal Aid claim that; “our client confirmed to us that her detention conditions had deteriorated after the Canary Mugume-Frank Baine scandalous monstrosity that was amateurishly fronted as “current affairs” on prime-time TV.”
Ssemakadde wondered why the station chose to host SCP Baine alone on the show, denying their team a chance to respond to claims that were made on live TV.
“As the attorneys of Dr Stella Nyanzi for nearly three years, we have given countless hours of free time to facilitate your current affairs programmes, including live talkshows. Our phone numbers are well known to your staff,” the lawyers wrote.
“However, we’re left to wonder why on this particular occasion we were not availed an equal and contemporaneous opportunity to rebut any of the adverse and plainly harmful statements against the prisoner whose dissemination Mr. Mugume gleefully facilitated.”
They have since asked that Kin Kariisa, the NBS Executive Director takes disciplinary action against the journalist together with his production crew, issue an apology and avail them a prime time occasion to also have their side heard live on air.
Canary Speaks Out
When contacted by The Tower Post, Mr. Mugume said he had not officially received the said complaint and that he, like others had just seen it on social media.
“I have not formally received any complaint about Stella Nyanzi. I have only seen things shared on social media and they are all not addressed to me,” said Mugume.
He added; “the complaints purportedly from Stella Nyanzi’s lawyers are baseless and have no legal backing. Stella Nyanzi is a matter of public interest and we owe our viewers a responsibility to provide information to them.”