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Court Order: Defendant to be Served through Newspapers over Assault Case

This statement was originally published on on June 8, 2016.

Court at Masaka has granted permission to serve the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party official through News Papers, to respond to a case where he was sued for assaulting a journalist in May 2015. Rogers Mulindwa, the Party Electoral Commission spokesperson was sued in March 2016 by a journalist, Eddie Bindhe of Uganda Radio Network (URN), for assault and breaking his eye glasses.

Bindhe through his lawyer Kalule Fredrick attempted to notify Mulindwa over the matter as required by law but all attempts to get him to sign the documents failed. Bindhe’s lawyer today, told court presided over by Masaka Chief Magistrate Samuel Munobe, that attempts to serve Mulindwa with court summons to file a defence had proved futile. He requested court to grant Bindhe permission to serve Mulindwa through newspapers. “The application is granted and summons therefore issued for service in Newspapers,” the Chief Magistrate Munobe ruled.

Under the Civil Procedure Rules, where summons cannot be served in person, court can grant permission to notify a party by substituted service. HRNJ-Uganda legal officer, Diana Nandudu, said the summons will be placed in the newspapers to enable Mulindwa to view and act upon them.

Bindhe alleges that Rogers Mulindwa on 12th May 2015 assaulted and dragged him by the neck while he was covering the launch of the NRM members’ registration exercise in Masaka, officiated by the party Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba. In the process Bindhe’s eye glasses were broken.

“Ruling party officials are not above the law, they must respect court orders. HRNJ-Uganda will ensure that there is compliance with court process and violators of freedom of expression must face justice” said Robert Ssempala the National Coordinator.

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