The payment followed a garnishee absolute order to three banks that hold Daily Monitor’s accounts.
The High Court last week ordered Stanbic Bank, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank to remove shs 450 million and pay it to the Permanent Secretary. Sources further indicate that Citi Bank wired money to Bigirimana’s account last Friday.
When contacted for a comment, PS Bigirimana confirmed to have received the money saying it is a big lesson to responsible journalism. However, he was quick to add that it is not the money that is the big issue .
“The issue is Peoples reputation. We have families, relatives and friends. Such irresponsible reporting damages ones reputation. This judgement shall protect other people from these reckless and irresponsible journalists,” he said.
Bigirimana said he will invest the money in Community Development projects in his home district Kisoro.
Bigirimana filed a civil suit against Daily Monitor in 2017 demanding shs 1 billion in damages. He told Court that between 2012 and 2015 Daily Monitor had published a series of articles portraying him as ‘dirty’ civil servant.
He said the articles damaged his reputation, credibility and integrity before the public.
The newspaper appealed the High Court decision but lost twice. Late last month, through its attorneys, they sought an interim order seeking to stay execution of the decree and all orders of the Appeal no 170 of 2022 pending disposal of the of the substantive application.
In the Appeal (number 170) two Justices of the Appellate Court directed Daily Monitor newspaper to pay Pius Bigirimana, a total sum of shs 450 million. This is as compensatory damages for defaming him in a series of articles published on several dates between 2012 and 2015.
Bigirimana at the time served as Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister before he moved to Gender Ministry in the same capacity.
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