By Spy Uganda
Kampala: In June 2014, a one Sekyewa Ronald Edward got information that Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), Transparency International Uganda (TIU) and Uganda Debt Network (UDN) had gone ahead to publish as their own an Issue Paper on the Access to Information law (ATI 2005) and the Leadership Code which they had asked him to write and send to them in reward of huge sums of money.
After preparing his paper, he sent it to them for perusal on promises of calling him after perusal to make a presentation at a conference that they were going to organise.
Contrary, after sending the paper, and tried to follow up on when the conference was to take place, they never responded to him before he got to know on the very day when the conference was to take place that these three organizations had taken his paper and removed his organization’s logo replaced it with their 3 logos, removed his name as the author of the paper and they presented it at that conference as their research work.
Sekyewa says the person who was in that conference and knew that it was his work is the one who called him to rush to the venue at Imperial Royale Hotel where he found the three organizations doing their best in fraud and copyright infringement.
He says, “I was so furious and disappointed that day. I couldn’t believe that those people I respected so much bent that low and committed such an act.”
“I later contacted the three executive directors of those organizations expressing my disappointment and I made it clear to them that I was not the type of person to let that pass just like that. After pressing them, two tried to distance themselves from the act while one of them claimed they were co-authors of the paper,” he added.
Sekyewa, later could not sustain the fraud of the unfair organizations which forced him to take the legal action on 23.9.2014, a case that has dragged on for 6 years till this year on 20th October 2020 when he received the judgement that ordered the three organizations to cough millions to the plaintiff.
Read Full Judgement Below;
“IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA AT KAMPALA COMMERCIAL COURT DIVISION
EDWARD RONALD SEKYEWA T/A HUB FOR INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA—–PLAINTIFF
ANTI-CORRUPTION COALITION UGANDA—-1ST DEFENDANT
TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL UGANDA—-2D DEFENDANT
UGANDA DEBT NETWORK——3D DEFENDANT
BEFORE HON. LADY JUSTICE ELIZABETH JANE ALIVIDZA JUDGEM1ENT
On 23/9/2014, the Plaintiff Edward Ronald Sekyewa /A Hub for investigative Media sued the Defendants for compensation of Ugandan millions and other remedies for plagiarism and copyright infringement on his Issue Paper on Access to Information Act and Leadership Code Act.
In the amended defence filed on 8/2/2018, the 1s Defendant Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda and Transparency International denied liability and stated that they jointly participated in making the issue paper.
The 3rd Defendant Uganda Debt Network denied any liability.
Therefore, I award the Plaintiff Uganda million shillings– as general damages at an interest rate of 17% per annum from the date of delivery of Judgment until payment in full.
I also award the Plaintiff cost of this suit.
Conclusion and final order
I find in favour of the Plaintiff as follows.
1. The Plaintiff is declared the author of the Issue Paper on Access To Information.
2. The issued paper on access to information that bears the logos of the three Defendants is an infringed product of the Plaintiff’s work.
3. The Defendants are jointly and severally liable to compensate the Plaintiff. An award of UGX million—-is granted by this Court to the Plaintiff. This award attracts the interest of 17% per annum from the date of cause of action until payment in full.
4. The Defendants should destroy hard and soft copies of the infringed works to avoid the continuation of the infringement.
5. Injunction is issued for the Defendants to restrain from portraying the Issue Paper as their own.
6. The Defendants are ordered to separately make a written apology to the Plaintiff and file a copy with the Court.
7. The Defendants are jointly and severally awarded the Plaintiff Ugandan Shillings million as damages at an interest rate of 17% per annum from the date delivery of judgment until full payment.
8. The Defendants pay the Plaintiff cost of this suit.
Elizabeth Jane Alividza
Judge October 2020.”