Airtel has been summoned by Uganda’s High Court after allegations it insulted the Catholic Church over a billboard it erected in the country. The billboard, which says “Airtel Cleaner than the Rubaga Bell” apparently has irked a number of high-ranking Catholics in the country.
The Rubaga Bell is an ancient church bell in the Rubaga Cathedral in Kampala, Uganda.
The court has given the company 15 days from May 24th to respond to their query. Airtel, for its part, has taken down the billboard in an effort to appease the Catholic Church.
“It is disgraceful for a company such as Airtel to offend and use slander to get their message across,” said one Church official in Kampala.
However, one Catholic priest, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject, said that the church should be more tolerant and “roll with the punches” after all the trouble its been through worldwide.
“We Catholics used to laugh and make jokes about ourselves. Now, after a few priests did some disgusting and horrible things, it’s as if we lost what it means to live,” the priest said, holding up his phone pointing to the network he uses.
According to the Daily Monitor, the case began in earnest last week after two Catholics, Albert Kakooza and Robert Mujuzzi, sued on behalf of fellow Catholics in the country.
They argue in their lawsuit that “their faith was insulted by the wrongful commissioning of the sacrilegious and offensive message conveyed through the billboard.”
By Andrew Matapare