Sisimuka Uganda’s Frank Gashumba, has given Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga a two-week ultimatum to apologize for referring to him as a Rwandese or be dragged to court.
Gashumba’s threat stems from a story published by The Observer last month in which Kadaga was quoted as saying that Uganda was a tolerant country; that is why the likes of Gashumba, a Rwandese, can abuse Ugandans.
According to the story, Kadaga said on a radio talk show: “Uganda is really a lenient country; how can Gashumba, a Rwandese, abuse us in Uganda? He can’t do this in Rwanda; I even don’t know his work.”
Gashumba had earlier said that instead of throwing blue and yellow-painted piglets at parliament as the protesting Jobless Brotherhood did, he would have opted for hyenas. Hyenas are famed scavengers and often dine on the leftovers of other predators.
Gashumba through his lawyers Okecha, Baranyanga & Co Advocates has written to Kadaga demanding an apology, failure of which she will be dragged to court.
“Your utterances have occasioned great pain, and anguish to our client. Our client’s esteem amongst his peers has greatly diminished as he is now seen as a person who has no locus stand to contribute in any way in the affairs of our great nation,” says a letter to Kadaga dated October 6.
The lawyers contend that Kadaga’s utterances were not only “divisive, hateful, inciting, stigmatic but also demeaning in nature.”
They further argue that the utterances were unconstitutional and, therefore, their client can seek redress from the courts of law in form of a declaration and award of damages.
“We are, therefore, instructed to demand that you publicly and through the same media channels on which you uttered the recorded references apologize to our client within 14 days from the date of receipt hereof, failing upon which we have instructions to drag you to courts of law and demand for compensation for damage occasioned at your cost,” the letter delivered to Kadaga on October 12 reads.
Gashumba believes he is a Ugandan by birth not a Rwandese as the speaker alleges citing his origin way back in 1923 when his grandparents came to Uganda from Rwanda as casual workers.
“My grandfather Farazio Malingumu went for the Second World War and died in it. My father Antonio Gashumba was born in Masaka district and joined DP before defecting to NRM. My grandmother Iranda Nsanga Safari advised me to always be loyal to Buganda kingdom because it hosted us; that is why my royalty to his Highness the Kabaka is not debatable. My father went to Rome using a Ugandan passport and I also hold one too,” Gashumba said.