Two senior editors of Ugandan tabloid Red Pepper are wanted in court to answer charges of defaming Libyan leader Col. Muamar Gadaffi over the paper's report that he has a love affair with Toro Queen Mother Best Kemigisa, writes Charles Ariko in The New Vision.

Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Vincent Mugabo has ordered editor-in-chief Richard Tumusiime and senior editor Francis Mutazindwa to stand in the dock tomorrow.

Tumusiime yesterday said they would comply with the order. "We are law-abiding citizens," he said. "We will attend court as required."

Tumusiime and Mutazindwa are accused of defaming a foreign dignitary with intent to disturb peace and friendship between Uganda and Libya.

Muwema, Mugerwa Advocates and Solicitors filed the case on behalf of Abdala Bujeldain, the secretary (ambassador) of the Libyan Arab Peoples Bureau in Kampala.

If convicted, the journalists will get two years in jail.

The offence has rarely been invoked except in the late 1980s when three journalists asked the then Zambian president, Kenneth Kaunda, an "embarrassing question" at a State House press conference. In the current case, the court said Tumusiime and Mutazindwa published a story titled, Gadaffi, Toro Queen in love, on February 5.

The court argues that the story was untruthful and degraded, reviled and exposed to contempt, the leader of the Revolution of the Great Socialist Peoples' Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. It said the intention of the paper was to disturb peace and friendship between Uganda and Libya.

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