Her lawyers, Kiwanuka and Karugire Advocates and Solicitors stated that the May 12, 2012 article titled; "Karamoja leaders accuse First family of land grabbing" was intended to malign the First Lady as being involved in "fraudulent acquisition of land and illegal mineral extraction in Karamoja and has used the Special Forces Group to achieve these nefarious ends."
The lawyers quoted part of the article that: "The MPs claimed that 6,130 hectares of land measuring 15,325 acres located in Kimcharin, Moruita Sub-county, in Nakapiripirit District, have been sold and leased to a company called Feronia Uganda Ltd, while 2001 hectares have been sold and leased to another entity, Pro-Solutions Limited at sh140 without consent of the customary land rights owners.
"It is alleged that the above companies belong to members of the ruling family but we shall divulge more details later," said Moroto Municipality MP, Simon peter Aleper, who chaired the Friday Press conference.
"We have asked the local government to tell us who gave them the land. There is a process on how land can be acquired but this was not adhered to. These companies are fraudsters," said the MP, who did not say what exact connection exists between Feronia, pro-Solutions and the First family.
"The Karamoja sub-region MPs' remarks come amid long standing fears within the community that minerals are being mined and spirited away with alleged collusion of certain elements within the army's Special Forces Group that is deployed in the sub-region. SFG units guard the president and his family."
The lawyers said that even after the Monitor found no evidence against the First Lady and stated so, they "recklessly and maliciously republished" on May 24, 2012.
"On Page 12 of your Daily Monitor Newspaper of the 27th of May 2012, in your Parliament Watch section, you left no doubt as to whom you referred in your earlier articles", the lawyers stated in their May 28, 2012 notice to the Monitor Publications Ltd.
They quoted the paper as stating in the Parliament Watch as: "Frowns: Janet Kataha Museveni: The First Lady bags this week's frowns for her alleged role in a scam to fleece the Karimojong of their land. The Karamoja Sub-Region Parliamentary caucus while addressing journalists at Parliament claimed that there is an ongoing ploy to grab mineral rich land, although this newspaper has not been able to obtain independent corroboration of the allegation that members of the First family may be linked to the mischief. The MPs said that the First Lady who also doubles as the Minister for Karamoja was hiding behind companies to acquire land in the region."
The lawyers stated that the statements are completely false and malicious and that the series of articles that the paper published were calculated and have indeed greatly disparaged the reputation of "our client."
The lawyers demanded that the Monitor immediately retracts "the libelous matter and publish an apology" agreed with them in advance and published with equal prominence given to the articles.
They added that, "our client shall claim damages suffered as a result of the said libel whose quantum we shall communicate to you as soon as the apology is run."
The lawyers said that should the paper fail to comply with their demand within seven days, they will institute legal proceedings against the publication.
"If you have no intention of complying, kindly inform us immediately so that we may institute the proceedings without delay," the lawyers stated.
When contacted for comment, Monitor's Managing Director, Alex Asiimwe referred the New Vision to the Executive Editor, David Sseppuuya, who said,"we shall handle the issue legally."