Court stops media from publishing stories linking Wetang’ula to BAT scandal


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wetangulaA court has stopped media houses from publishing stories linking Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula to the BAT scandal until the case is heard.

High court judge Nicholas Ombija issued the temporary injunction and asked all parties to report to court on January 7, when the defamation case will be heard.

Wetang’ula had sued British Broadcasting Corporation for causing him “great distress” and “irreparably damaging his hard-earned reputation”.

Through lawyer James Orengo, Wetang’ula said BBC “recklessly published” false allegations implying he is corrupt, takes bribes and is unfit for public office without attempting to verify them.

BBC in their Panorama programme mentioned Wetang’ula as one of the MPs who allegedly received “favours” from British American Tobacco during his term as Trade minister in 2012.

BBC reported that in July 2012, BAT lobbyist Adell-Owino requested the purchase of a business class ticket to London for Wetang’ula.

In an email, Adell-Owino said Wetang’ula would be “hosted at Globe House” which is BAT’s London headquarters.

She asked that the transaction should be “paperless” and there should be “no receipts if any in his (Wetangula) name.”

Adell-Owino “categorically denied” involvement in any wrongdoing and said BAT “mistakenly believed” the payments were bribes.

But according to BAT, purchase of the plane ticket was one in a series of “unlawful bribes”.

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