Home Main Stories On “kidnaps”, Kampala papers spin a yarn on Rwanda that’s never been...

On “kidnaps”, Kampala papers spin a yarn on Rwanda that’s never been tenable

By Alain Mucyo

Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti, the Chairman of the General Court Martial.

Ugandan media has since the beginning of the week been awash with stories about the release on bail by the country’s court martial of four senior police officers who have been on remand for over two years.

The officers in question include former commander of the Uganda Police Flying Squad Herbert Muhangi and SCP Joel Aguma, a former commander of the Professional Standard Unit in the Uganda Police Force. They were released alongside two other officers with whom they had been on remand.

They were all given bail this Monday by Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti who also doubles as the Chairman of the General Court Martial. According to Gutti, the accused were given bail because, “the offences (they are being charged with) were bailable, and they have fixed places of abode.” Most intriguing is the fact that Muhangi in particular, was in February last year given bail by the same judge at the same court, but was still kept on remand for close to a year.

The quartet, together with many others, including a former Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura, and other former top Uganda Police brass had been accused of arresting and extraditing some two Rwandan terror suspects.

Kayihura was granted bail by the same court, by the same Gutti in August 2018.

The two Rwandans in question included convicted terrorist Joel Mutabazi. These individuals never were abducted, as sections of Uganda’s media like to allege.

They were extradited under an existing bilateral framework between the police forces of the two countries.

A Ugandan legal practitioner who was interviewed for this article further wondered, rhetorically: “Why not charge and try them during all that time they have been on remand, if you have a prima facie case against them?” This is clearest indication; the way these Muhangis and Agumas have been treated that they were mere scapegoats.

According to informed sources there was a power struggle behind the scenes in Kampala. A clique of powerful officials closely affiliated to the Ugandan ruler – among them Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde the former Ugandan minister of national security – wanted the former Uganda Police IGP Kale Kayihura out of office. Asap!

To the members of a powerful cabal closely aligned to the President in the security organs, Kayihura was as an “undesirable” and an “inconvenience”, as they positioned themselves for influence. So framing Kayihura and his entire team was never far behind. With the arrest of Mutabazi, Tumukunde and a few other higher-ups, the power players saw a perfect opportunity to frame Kayihura.

By then it was public knowledge that Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC had deep tentacles running within Ugandan security organs – most notably CMI.

When Mutabazi, an RNC terrorist was handed to Rwanda – which was in a fugitive exchange program that saw Kigali too hand over people like Shanita Namuyimba (“Bad Black”) and others wanted for offenses back in Uganda – Uganda Police only was doing its duty.

But Tumukunde – who is one of those at the forefront in the project to destabilize Rwanda – and (Brig Abel) Kandiho the CMI chief instead saw a golden opportunity against Kayihura, and struck.

“Kayihura is working with Rwanda!” they claimed. To be accused in Uganda of working with Rwanda, regardless how little Kigali may know of any such a matter, is the next thing to a death sentence by CMI. Yet the accusers never showed proof of their claims.

In fact Uganda Military court records show Kayihura’s persecutors so lacked proof to back their accusations that they doctored an audio, supposedly of the former IGP ordering crimes. The audio was immediately deemed fake by forensics experts at Makerere.

The true facts are that even when Uganda Police handed Mutabazi over to its Rwanda counterparts, it wasn’t even they (Uganda Police) that had arrested him. Reliable sources have since disclosed that the extradition was specifically sanctioned by Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Museveni’s son, whose influence in the military is only second to his father’s.

But the Kampala media, which long ago abdicated the duty of truth telling will only peddle falsehoods about Rwanda.

“After (the handover) that’s when the Ugandan security establishment realized Mutabazi had been delivered together with a computer on which there was incriminating evidence; lot’s of it linking the likes of CMI and others to RNC. That’s when those after Kayihura saw a perfect chance to nail him. And to purge his entire team – the likes of Muhangi, Aguma, Col. Ndahura Atwooki, SSP Nixon Agasirwe, and many others – and lock them up.

CMI-linked media was working around the clock to link all these people to Rwanda, though the dynamics behind their downfall were completely different.

Meantime even as the cops in Kampala were being framed by the shadowy cabal, in Rwanda Mutabazi – whom ironically they never stop propagandizing that he was “kidnapped” – enjoyed due process. His trial was carried out in the open. It took as long as he could defend himself, with his lawyers. And he got his due sentence.

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