By Farooq Kasule
City lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi has written to the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) to order Pastor Aloysius Bugingo’s television station to surrender video footage captured on his contentious introduction ceremony with Suzan Makula Nantaba.
In a letter dated December 27, Mabirizi argues that he wants to use the footage to back up his case against Bugingo before the Entebbe Chief Magistrate’s Court.
Bugingo and Makula are indicted with three counts relating to their customary marriage when Bugingo is already married to Teddy Naluswa under the Marriage Act.
UCC is a government body responsible for regulation of the communications sector in the country.
Mabirizi wants UCC to invoke the provisions of section 29(b) of the UCC ACT, 2013, which requires the holder of a licence or a producer of a record of all that is broadcasting station or disseminating apparatus to retain a record of all that is broadcast for not less than sixty days.
“I request your regulatory office to obtain the recorded videos of the ceremony for onward transmission to me and the court and please notify the producer that he or she will be required to testify in court over it,” the letter reads in part.
Mabirizi bases his application on the testimony of the Bwerenga local council chairman, who argues that he watched the ceremony on Bugingo’s television station, which is managed and run by him and Makula, making it most unlikely that they will voluntarily avail the required videos. The development comes days after Bugingo denied having been introduced by Makula.
Mabirizi argues that Bugingo’s claim that he was invited for a function, but not an introduction does not exonerate him. The lawyer says it is good that Bugingo is denying that Makula is his wife and that it is a sign that he is accepting that what he engaged in, was an illegality and a crime.
In another letter, Mabirizi also wants Nyombi Thembo, the director of the rural communications development fund at UCC, to avail him with any information in his possession to assist court to reach a fair decision.