By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Harris International Ltd, commonly known as Riham, the manufacturers of soft drink beverages and foods is on hotpot for erecting an inappropriate billboard with spelling errors in the newly created King Oyo’s Fort Portal tourism city.
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The billboard that caused outrage on social media since Friday displayed wrong spellings of the word that is purportedly meant to welcome people to the tourism city fort portal and instead portrayed opposite meaning.
‘NITUBATANGIRA’, the word which they used on a billboard erected in Fort Portal along Lugard road literally means preventing from or blocking from.
As if that was not enough, they went ahead to put a bottle of Lavita soda, a product of Hariss International Ltd, on top of the artistic impression picture of the Kingdoms Palace (Royal Karuziika).
“Dear #Riham family, the correct word is ‘NITUBATANGIIRRA’ which means we welcome you to Fort portal tourism city, as opposed to ‘Nitubatangira’, meaning you’re preventing our guests from coming into our city! But I know this was a small mistake in good faith,” Andrew Irumba live, as he goes by his social media name, being a proud Mutooro from Bunyangabu District and a concerned citizen went to his Facebook as usual and corrected Riham.
After Mutooro Irumba’s post, Hariss International took the advice and by close of business yesterday, it had been pulled down and an apology sent through their social media Facebook page.
It Reads; “It has come to our attention that our billboard located at Fort Portal, Lugard road opposite Stanbic bank didn’t meet the public expectations of our company hence caused the feeling of no respect to the people of Fort Portal tourism city and Tooro kingdom at large. We sincerely regret the spelling mistake on the billboard,” Harris International said in the statement.
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“We would also like to rectify that the Lavita bottle ‘at the back’ of the billboard concept meant to exhibit our willingness to support the tourism city within the Tooro kingdom. In respect and honour of our relationship with the people of Fort Portal tourism city and Tooro kingdom at large, we have pulled down the billboard.”
“We once again apologize to all Ugandans especially the people and well-wishers of Tooro kingdom upon this deviation and pledge to ensure the same never happens again.”
On there other hand, however, the administration of Fort Portal tourism City faulted Riham arguing that such a company should have done comprehensive research or consulted about the right spelling and meaning of the words they used before portraying them.
“First of all, never ever put any luggage on top of our palace, this is a historical and cultural building and you should always respect it, how dare you insert a plastic bottle on top of our palace? at a time when our King is working tirelessly to fight plastics with their enormous adverse effect on the environment and you are here putting plastic bottles on top of his palace??!! are you even being serious?
Do you know what “Nitubatangira” means? It means to stop someone or prevent them from doing something! Do you really know the negative consequences of Kutangira abantu from coming to Fort Portal Tourism City? Why didn’t you consult kingdom officials or at least the people of Tooro before doing these grave mistakes?” Moses Murungi, a concerned Mutooro juggled in.
The administration of Fort Portal City further demanded a retraction of the billboard and apology to the Kingdom.
It is worth noting that last year, telecom giant, MTN Uganda was forced to apologise and pulled down a billboard which had been erected in Soroti town over an inappropriate word in Ateso language.