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Arua Radio demands Ushs 400 Million in compensation from Red Pepper, Razor :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Arua Radio demands Ushs 400 Million in compensation from Red Pepper, Razor

Radio Pacis and its marketing manager Vincent Ochaya are demanding 401.000.000 million shillings from the Red Pepper and the Razor over defamation after running a story that the marketing manager was caught stealing a bunch of banana (Matooke).

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Radio Pacis, an Arua-based Catholic radio station, has threatened to sue two tabloid news papers for publishing stories they claim tarnished the name of the station and its marketing manager Vincent Ochaya.

 

Through their lawyers Manzi, Odama and Company Advocates, Radio Pacis is demanding 401 million shillings in damages and professional fee from the Red Pepper and the Razor news papers.

The station management also want the two newspapers to retract the stories and apologize publicly to them.

 

Trouble started when the Red Pepper and the Razor newspapers ran a story in which an Arua LC 1 court allegedly found Radio Pacis marketing manager, Vincent Ochaya, guilty of taking a bunch of matooke and fined him 70 thousand shillings.

 

According to the LC 1 court minutes, 50 thousand shillings was compensation for the matooke owner, Nelson Ojaku, and 20 thousand shillings was the LCs sitting and lunch allowance.

When the story ran Radio Pacis management led by Fr. Tonino Pasolini denied the theft story. It was only when the two newspapers erroneously published a follow-up story in which they alleged that Radio Pacis had suspended Ochaya that the radio management was forced to take legal action.

In a March 18 intention-to-sue letter served to the two newspapers, Radio Pacis lawyers state that the words used to describe their client are not only false but defamatory and has exposed Ochaya to unnecessary odium.

They claim that the stories published by the newspapers have also injured the reputation and the credibility of Radio Pacis, a leading and an award-winning station that is known all over Africa.

 

The lawyers state that they have express permission from their clients to institute a civil suit against both newspapers if they failed to adhere to the demands within seven days.

 

Julius Mwesige, the News Editor at the Razor newspaper, says they have been served with the intention to sue letter and are ready to defend themselves.

A tough talking Mwesige said court being what it is there is no need to fear if somebody wants to go there unless one is a fugitive.

Their counterparts from the Red Pepper have not yet commented on the matter as calls to their editor’s phone went unanswered.

 

The Red Pepper and The Razor aren't the only two newspapers feeling the heat of the story. A Radio Pacis journalist, Stephen Chandia, has reportedly been suspened for leaking the story to the two newspapers.

Contributing to a discussion on the issue on the Uganda Radio Network website, Radio Pacis chief news editor, Ernest Acidri Al-Fodi said the claim that Candia was suspended over the story misses the truth.

Radio Pacis has maintained its lead in the West Nile radio market for over five years now. It miixes community and commercial radio programming which is quite popular with many listeners.

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