The Military Tribunal yesterday dismissed charges of defamation leveled against the Director of Gabiro School of Infantry, Maj. Gen. Martin Nzaramba, by his wife Capt. (rtd) Doreen Kayitesi due to lack of evidence.
Kayitesi had sought court redress saying that her husband had used defamatory language in the divorce trial going on separately at the Gasabo Lower Instance Court, in which the General has petitioned seeking divorce from his wife.
"There is no evidence implicating Major General Nzaramba as there is no any indication that he did so in public with any intention," the quorum, presided over by the tribunal’s vice president Brig. Gen. Steven Kalyango, ruled.
Kayitesi had alleged that the defamation is contained in written statements Nzaramba made in the civil court to back his application for divorce.
"There is no indication that the public got to know of what was in that document…any document provided to court does not necessarily mean that the public have access to it. It was handed to a court clerk who is bound by professional secrecy," court ruled.
The verdict also adds that the fact that the divorce trial was held in camera is an indication that the public was excluded from hearing the details in the document. The trial in the civil case was also heard in camera on request of the plaintiff.
Kayitesi had requested for damages worth a symbolic Frw50 coin. "That is enough for me to restore my dignity," she is quoted as having said in the final verdict.
Court also quoted Kayitesi’s counsel, Protais Mutembe, as having said that they still lacked evidence to pin the General.
Meanwhile, the military prosecution which Kayitesi had petitioned to prosecute her husband had decided to shelve the case on the basis of lack of elements constituting a criminal offence, prompting her to pursue the case without prosecution on her side.
The date on which Gasabo Lower Instance Court will pronounce itself on the divorce case has not been pronounced.