Jinja—23, November 2021: The leadership of Universal Apostles Fellowship Church of Righteousness (UAFCR), one of the indigenous Christian organizations has dragged two media houses to the courts of law over alleged defamatory articles published recently.
The suit followed a news article published in entebbepost.com owned by Henry Lubulwa purporting that Prophet David Frederick Isanga who is the overall spiritual leader of UAFCR asked followers to sell their plots of land and give him the proceeds so he can secure space for them in heaven.
The same story was aired on Jinja based Basoga Baino (BABA TV/FM) owned by the former Jinja West MP, Moses Grace Balyeku. The article triggered a lot of concerns and anxiety among the security and population, respectively.
According to the media channels, the man of God while delivering a sermon in Kaliro reportedly commanded followers to sell all their property and give him money in exchange of lands in heaven.
The news channels also alleged that the very industrious and generous Pastor Isanga asked each of the hundreds of thousands of followers to give him shs50,000 to take them to the Eden garden in Nakaseke, something the Church calls ‘wild and malicious’.
Contrary to the malicious allegation, at Nakaseke the Church has one of the biggest agricultural demonstration farms where a variety of crops like pineapples, cassava, cashew nuts, and fruits plus animal industry in collaboration with the central and local governments through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).
The article which went viral on various social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube, among others, had quoted a one Teddy Nambaala as the defendant witness who is also now joined in the suit.
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According the lawyers, the said article or publication were ‘false and intended to misrepresent and damage the image of the Church and Prophet Isanga.’
“… it contains deliberate and intentional falsehoods wherein the defendants jointly and severally stated that they asked the pastor (Isanga) for the comment and he declined…” reads part of the plaint.
The Church with more than 1,500 churches countrywide, and branches in the East and Central African countries also prays that the court issues a permanent injunction against the ‘errant media houses’ and ‘individuals’ from publishing further malicious news items.
The four-page plaint signed by Kampala based lawyers of M/S Anguria and Company Advocates is demanding shs130m as general damages and exemplary damages of the suit which must be borne by the two media houses.
According to the document, a copy seen by TND News, the defendants have been given three weeks to file a defense at the Jinja High Court.
The legal threat is coming at a time when the regulatory body, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is tightening up on media houses following widespread public complaints over reckless reporting and programming.