Crime & Investigation

Mbabazi Wins Defamation Suit Against UK’s Daily Mail


cure geneva; font-size: small;”>The Court heard that on 31 October 2012, the Daily Mail published an article headed “£10m foreign aid went to cronies of Ugandan PM” and on the same day, MailOnline published an article headed “Britain and Ireland suspend aid to Uganda after £10m of funding ends up in Prime Minister’s account”.

Andrew Stephenson, solicitor for the Prime Minister, told the court that there the Auditor General in Uganda had produced a Report which had revealed irregularities, fraud and forgery on the part of staff working within the Office of the Prime Minister.

He further noted that “There was no suggestion in the Report that the Prime Minister was responsible for, or benefitted from, the theft of the money.”

Julian Darrall, solicitor for Associated Newspapers, confirmed that the publishers had undertaken not to repeat the allegations and agreed to pay the Prime Minister a substantial sum in damages and the legal costs.

On behalf of the publishers, he apologised for the offence caused.

Speaking today from his office in Kampala, Mbabazi said: “I was shocked that these headlines were published in the English press. Neither I nor my friends benefitted from the acts of fraud and forgery.”

He added: “On the contrary it was at my direction, through the Permanent Secretary of the

Office of Prime Minister, that the Auditor General’s investigation was instigated. Far from being involved or implicated in theft, I was responsible for the process which exposed the serious offences which have resulted, in June this year, in the conviction and sentencing of the former Principal Accountant.”

Godfrey Kazinda was recently convicted for abuse of office, forgery and illegal possession of government stores, acts believed to have cost government billions of shillings in during the plunder of donor support funds at OPM.

Donors suspended millions of dollars in aid support to Uganda in response to the scandal and asked government to refund the stolen monies.

Mbabazi further said he was pleased that the publishers have acknowledged their “error, and apologised to me in court.”


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