Ex-RCC Burora Faces Court Decision on Hate Speech Charges Friday

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Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s court has set this Friday, July 12 to decide whether to dismiss or maintain the charges of hate speech and spreading malicious information against Herbert Anderson Burora, the former Rubaga Division Deputy Resident City Commissioner (RCC). 

Burora, who served as deputy RCC for more than five years, faces charges under the Computer Misuse Act for allegedly using his X (formerly Twitter) handle ‘@HarderHB’ to share information that ridiculed, degraded, or promoted hostility against the speaker of parliament, Annet Anita Among. 

He has denied the charges. During the hearing, Burora’s defence team, consisting of seven lawyers including Phillip Munaabi, David Kamukama, and Benjamin Katana, argued that the charge sheet was defective. They claimed it failed to specify the exact hate speech or malicious information Burora allegedly shared. Munaabi cited the case of Dr Stella Nyanzi, where the prosecutors indicated the vulgar words used, unlike in Burora’s case.   

The defence requested the court to dismiss the charges until a proper charge sheet was drafted. However, the prosecution, led by Richard Birivumbuka, countered that the defence did not cite specific rules breached by the prosecutors and focused on attacking the form rather than the substance. Birivumbuka emphasized that the charge sheet clearly outlines the Twitter handle used, the victim, and the act itself. 

He argued that dismissing the charge sheet would be a miscarriage of justice, as it can be amended even if errors are found. 

Following these arguments, Burora was further remanded until the court’s decision on July 12. Burora’s troubles began in March 2024 when he posted information on social media condemning corruption in parliament, particularly targeting Among. 

He was suspended from his position on March 14, 2024, by Hajji Yunus Kakande to allow for investigations and was directed to hand over to the deputy RCC for Kampala Central. Burora resigned on March 18, 2024, citing the need to protect his conscience. 

“In my tour of duty, there are those that I didn’t satisfy for one reason or the other, but majorly, I served the way I was supposed to do. I may not be able to measure my legacy, as a representative of the president, but I’m sure there is no single day that I didn’t represent him to the best of my knowledge,” he said.

Before his suspension, Burora had posted tweets criticizing the corruption in parliament, including sarcastic remarks about the speaker’s expenditures and her perceived power. 

“I told these people to forgive us for not delivering services because your corporate social responsibility budget that consumed the majority of the service delivery budget has not yet reached them. I took them through your expenditure and they are bitter,” he said.  

He added “Anita has gained more power that she likens her expenditure openly to that of the president. And she refers to herself not as a speaker but as Number 3 in the country.

Her entitlement has now increased to moving in armoured vehicles, creating her own security choices, and funding her service delivery activities through corporate social responsibility. And the likes.”

Burora is not the first person to face legal action for hate speech against speaker Among. A few months ago, Tiktoker Ibrahim Musana, known as Pressure 24/7, was remanded for promoting hate speech against Among, President Museveni, and the Kabaka of Buganda before securing his release.

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