The police leadership has threatened to take legal action against the proprietor behind a local energy drink known as “Mukamanayamba” over an advert they refer to as controversial.
Police say the use of its image as content in the advert of an energy drink is defamatory and did not go through due approval.
According to Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga, police officers who featured in the advert did so for private gains and their conduct is under investigation. He said the proprietor should pull out the police content or the entire advert, or be sued.
“The advert deceptively suggests that our emergence team of the “999” Patrol Pick-Up and its crew actively responded to an incident where a pack of “Mukamanayamba” energy drink was grabbed by an alleged thief, during the recording of the advert”
“We therefore, find the advert controversial on the following grounds; That the appearance of officers in uniforms and the use of police logistics for work outside police duty is strictly prohibited without the express permission of the IGP. These officers for their selfish gains appeared for a commercial advertisement without such approval and are a subject of investigation by the Professional Standards Unit.” Enaga stated in a message posted on the force’s website.
“In addition, the advert deceptively suggests that the police leadership endorsed the product of “Mukamanayamba” and further supports the campaign to market, sell and drink the product. This false impression created by the advert is defamatory since it is not representative of the police institution.” he adds.
The advert claims the drink provides a number of health benefits such as boosting sexual manpower among others.
“As a result, we demand that the commercial firm, pulls out the police content or the entire advert, and halts any further displays on TV and Radios. Failure to do so will call for sanctions in the civil court of law. The Directorate Legal and Human Rights Services has also petitioned the Uganda Communications Commission on the unauthorized usage of our image and content in the Commercial Adverts.” He noted.
However, the advert police say is controversial and in breach of standard protocol has been running on television screens for months. Efforts to reach Mukamanayamba makers for a comment did not yield much as their known phone numbers were unavailable.