Don’t be mistaken ladies and gentlemen; this is not the usual stand-up comedy dish from the country’s top comedienne.
I have it on good record that Anne Kansiime has dragged by the horns Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) and delivered the financially struggling firm to the courts of law.
Reason? Her anger stems from UTL’s ‘illegal’ usage of her mage and voice in TV commercials.
“I authorized UTL to use my voice and image in the past, but the contract to that relationship expired. Yet UTL has been using my voice and image in its commercials since January 2016,” Anne Kansiime rants.
She is perturbed that much as she has been willing to settle the matter without recourse all along, UTL has been acting arrogantly towards her.
“UTL had accepted to talk over the matter initially, but when my lawyers moved over to UTL for the talks, the defendant retorted that no such meeting had been arranged.”
Kansiime’s lawyers wrote to UTL in March this year, bringing the issue of wrongful use of her voice and image to the firm. She has tabled letters written by her lawyers to the court.
Aside from UTL, Kansiime is suing the insolvent WBS TV station as well as NBS TV Station for running the ‘unauthorized’ commercials on behalf of UTL.
“ I request that the illegal commercials be produced to court for destruction. I also pray that court assesses the financial benefit the defendants have derived from the illegal commercials,” Kansiime demands.
Had UTL entered a commercial contract with her as opposed to using her services for free, Kansiime says she would have earned a cool Uganda shillings 100 million. Apart from demanding to be paid the money in question with interest, the comedian seeks unspecified compensation arising out of the invasion of her privacy.
She further prays for compensation for pirating her voice and image rights, for causing her loss of earning as well as for tossing her up when she had agreed to talk over the matter.
City lawyers of Kirunda, Wasiga and Company Advocates are filing the lawsuit on behalf of the entertainer.
Taking court through her entertainment worth, Kansiime states “I am one of the leading performers in East Africa. I have cultivated and possess distinct skills, personality rights which include my voice and image rights and other content on which I rely to earn a living.”
Kansiime informs court that such rare attributes as the one possessed by her has helped her to win a number of local and international awards.
She explains, “Indeed I have performed and rendered such services to the rest of the world and by doing so I have established a fair and growing market value for my services.”
She tables some of the lucrative contracts she has penned with companies in Uganda and beyond in order to demonstrate more what kind of entertainer she is in the world of comedy and singing.
She lays out to court the genesis of the standoff that gives rise to the current legal battle. She narrates that it all started on January 19, 2016 when UTL penned a contract with NBS to run its commercials using her voice and image. She says UTL didn’t seek her consent before writing the contract.
She attaches the memo of understanding between UTL and NBS TV as part of its documentary evidence. After negotiating with NBS, Kansiime adds UTL did the same with WBS TV station. WBS is under management of Uganda Revenue Authority after its owners failed total of Ushs7bn in taxes.
The file of Kansiime’s case has been placed before Justice Jane Alividiza to handle. But, the defendants have been given a chance to respond to the charges within 15 days before the hearing can kick off.
The deputy registrar of the commercial section of the High Court, Thaddeus Opisen wrote to the defendants giving them the 15-days ultimatum to file their respective defenses. The time starts to run from the day each of the defendants receives the court summons.