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Healer sues magistrate for defamation

‘Mantoetse Maama

 MASERU — A traditional healer is suing a Maseru magistrate for M250 000 for unlawful detention and defamation of character.

Brown Nsubugu, a Ugandan, was arrested by the police three months ago for allegedly failing to attend remand hearings for a case which was pending in the magistrate’s court.

He was on bail for a case in which he was accused of molesting his wife and his child.

Nsubugu is practising as a herbalist in Lesotho.

The police on July 26 arrested and brought Nsubugu before magistrate Molemo Monethi for failing to attend remands.

Monethi ordered Nsubugu to await trial in prison for failing to attend remands when he was on bail.

Last month Nsubugu however asked the High Court to set aside Monethi’s ruling claiming he had been arrested unlawfully.

Nsubugu said he could not attend remands because his case had been withdrawn.

The High Court last month released Nsubugu on bail pending finalisation of his application to set aside Monethi’s decision.

The High Court last Monday set aside Monethi’s decision to lock Nsubugu behind prison bars.

The High Court upheld Nsubugu’s argument that he was unlawfully arrested.

His argument was that Monethi’s decision to send him to prison was also unlawful because he was brought before the magistrate unlawfully.

Now Nsubugu is suing Monethi for M250 000 as damages for unlawful detention and defamation of character.

He says Monethi ordered his detention at Maseru Central Prison without good cause.

He further says it was the second time that he was maliciously arrested through an order by Monethi.

Nsubugu says he was arrested without being properly summoned on two occasions because he was not served with a warrant of arrest.

“I was sent to prison twice without being given proper summons,” Nsubugu said.

He said Monethi remanded him in custody on the grounds that he did not attend remands but without citing the cases.

He said he knew his case had been withdrawn.

Nsubugu said he was taken to Pitso Ground police station by his legal representative to discuss issues of his child, Derrick, who is currently under the custody of his ex-wife.

He said after the discussion he was shown a warrant of arrest and was arrested by the same police officers.

He then appeared before Monethi who subsequently remanded him in custody.

“My arrest and detention was irregular and unlawful as it is not backed up by anything or based on any case been investigated by the police,” Nsubugu said.

He said Monethi did not have a charge sheet when he remanded him in prison.

“Even the docket was nowhere to be found,” he added.

He said his troubles were caused by his ex-wife’s false accusations about him.

He says his ex-wife accused him of harassing her and their son.

“My ex-wife accused me of molesting her and our son,” Nsubugu said.

“She is making all these accusations to get the benefits of the child support, house and property.”

He alleged that Monethi told him that he had a special interest in the case because he was a foreigner.

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