URSB to decide on Museveni's 2026 Campaign Slogan - "TOVA KU MAIN'
In a significant legal battle over the copyright of the 2026 campaign slogan for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) tribunal has announced that it will determine the case on October 19, 2023. Three key figures, Lwengo LCV chairman Ibrahim Kitatta, President Museveni's senior advisor Hadija Namyalo Uzeiye, and social media commentator Frank Gashumba, are embroiled in a dispute over the slogan "Omalako Jaja Tova Kumain."
On Tuesday, during the preliminary hearing, the three parties appeared before the URSB tribunal to present their arguments and clarify the key issues that need resolution. Among the key matters to be addressed is determining the rightful author of the copyright and identifying possible remedies for the involved parties.
All three parties have been instructed to submit written submissions to the Registrar of URSB, Ronald Lutunde, who will deliver the final judgment on October 19, 2023.
The Origin of the Dispute
The dispute traces its roots to May 16, 2023, when Frank Gashumba filed an application with the URSB seeking to copyright the slogan "Omalako Jajja Tova Ku Main Sigala Ku Ballot: Jajja we command you to stand again in 2026 and beyond." He claimed that he conceived the slogan in November 2022. Gashumba is being represented by his legal counsel, Blaire Ntambi.
In response, Hadija Namyalo Uzeiye, represented by her legal team from Sebuufu Usaama and Stanley Kangye of K&K Advocates, disputed Gashumba's claim. Namyalo asserted that she was the true originator and creator of the phrase and that she began using it officially on October 19, 2022, during an event at her office in Kyambogo.
According to Namyalo, her use of the phrase predates Gashumba's claimed date of birth for the slogan, and she has ample evidence to prove its use in various media outlets and public events.
Namyalo, who serves as the Head of the Office of the National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), argued that Gashumba's attempt to copyright her work represents a violation of her intellectual property rights. She contended that the phrase was developed by her and a group of NRM youth members, reflecting their creativity and support for President Museveni's re-election.
As the originator of the slogan, Namyalo asserted her exclusive rights to the creative work and vehemently opposed any attempts to claim copyright ownership over it by Gashumba.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Kitatta, the Lwengo LC5 chairman and NRM Youth League Vice President, also contested Gashumba's claim to the copyright of the slogan. Kitatta argued that he is the true author of the slogan, launching it on October 17, 2022, at Zebra Hotel in Masaka City, two days prior to Namyalo's use.
Kitatta further stated that he applied for copyright protection on January 27, 2023, with URSB issuing a notice of application on February 13, 2023, which was later gazetted on February 24, 2023.
The upcoming determination by the URSB tribunal on October 19, 2023, will have significant implications for the ownership of the slogan "Omalako Jaja Tova Kumain" and its use in President Museveni's 2026 campaign. This case highlights the importance of intellectual property rights and the complexities involved in establishing ownership of creative works.
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