The case against Suna East MP Junet Mohammed filed at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) officially kicked off on Tuesday, September 20.
The lawmaker and his colleagues allied to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga were sued over comments made in August 2021 implying that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was operating as a dictator.
The suit was filed by Ugandan Businessman Paul Bamutaze, who reportedly enjoys strong ties with Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) party which has been in power for 36 years.
Lawmakers named in the suit are MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Jared Okelo, Antony Otieno, Fatuma Abdi and Millie Odhiambo (Suba South).Proceedings at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in Arusha on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. FILE
The Office of the Attorney General in Kenya was further named respondent in the lawsuit.
In court papers, the businessman sought to have the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders who were named alongside Mohamed be sanctioned for undermining Uganda's ruling party.
"Case against ODM MPs utterances against Yoweri Museveni and Muhoozi Kainerugaba kicked off today at the EACJ in Arusha! I wish to retaliate that M7 is an elected Leader and not a dictator as stated by Junet Mohammed and others!
"We shall protect our President Museveni, NRM party, William Ruto (Kenyan President) and the East African Community against such attacks that derail the advancement towards a Political Federation of the EAC! As the EACJ commences hearing into my Matter against the ODM Party. We pray that justice is served," announced Bamutaze.
He also argued that their actions put to test the unity between Kenya and Uganda.
"You don't attack the person of the President of the Republic of Uganda. You don't attack the ruling political because you want to make news.
"Otherwise, that can turn out to be a serious diplomatic blunder," stated Bamutaze at the time.
The fallout stemmed from then Deputy President William Ruto's aborted trip to the neighbouring country and the subsequent uproar after the arrest of a foreign businessman linked to the trip.
ODM politicians questioned Ruto's relationship with Museveni. They also attacked Museveni's government claiming that it had a wanting reputation on the human rights front.Uganda President Yoweri Museveni arriving at JKIA on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 TWITTER EMMANUEL OTIM
In its response, the NRM Secretary General, Todwong Richard, cautioned the MP and other ODM allies alleging that they insulted and disrespected Museveni, NRM and Uganda's sovereign government and its people.
"Honourable Junet, please crosscheck your records so that next time you are better informed as a legislator. Your unfortunate utterances were indeed an indication of possible deep-rooted internal political misunderstandings within your country," read the NRM statement to Junet. By
- East Africa