Today Tony Kipoi, the former Member of Parliament in the 9th Parliament in the constituency of Bubulo West. In 2014 he had issues that he had no excuse for not taking part of 15 sittings in the row. Therefore, the Parliament threw him out and had a By-Election to chase him out of his seat. Well, just a year into his term (2012) as MP he was arrested for his connection with rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, however, that didn’t stop him from serving a few more years, before he was kicked out. Therefore, in retrospect, the issue wasn’t really there, but somehow it became one.
Other than this, there are a Press Release from 24th December 2012, where the Police Force states this: “Yesterday, Sunday, 23 December 2012, the Police with its sister security agencies, arrested Hon. Kipoi Tony Nsubuga of Bubulo East constituency at 10:30 in Matimuku Guest House, Njala Village, Fort Portal, Kabarole district, while he was holding a meeting with some Ugandan security officers and Congolese rebel officers. The Ugandan Officers and Congolese rebels were also arrested. For, some time, now, the Police with its sister security agencies have been closely monitoring subversive activities of Hon. Kipoi Tony in and out of the country. In particular, he has been recruiting personnel from our security services as well as Congolese rebels belong to a Congolese rebel group called COGAI, based in areas around Bunia, Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo. He had promised to support the rebel groups with fire arms.We also have information, that Hon. Kipoi Tonny has foreign sponsors who at this point it would not be wise to disclose” (Ugadna Police Force, 24.12.2012).
In April 2014, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni expressed this about Kipoti:
“You elected a mad man Kipoi and when he got there, he wanted to overthrow the NRM government with guns. We threw him in. But because of the courts which are confused, they released him on bond and he fled to Congo. You have been here for long without any representation” (State House, 14.04.2014). T
What is striking with this, if this fellow Member of Parliament was already monitored and already had an issue with the and had to be arrested one year after becoming MP. Why wouldn’t the Electoral Commission disqualify him and his candidacy in Bubulo West? Since he was already known for his foreign support of the COGAI in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo?
The strangest thing, is that there is no direct connection with COGAI or FPRI. Which the state tries to put forward, and when it comes to making such accusation the state has usually delivered easily against detractors. Therefore, I had to look into possible sources and finds very little proof behind the accusation and the actual connection. Other than police in 2012, but nothing else connecting Tony to any warlord in the DRC.
The pure evidence of a Ugandan connection to FPRI or COGAI is this one from the UN Security Council in 2012: “FRPI also sells gold directly to Ugandan armed forces officers posted along the Congolese border. A regular client, cited by Congolese armed forces, militia members and a Lendu community leader, is a former Ugandan armed forces officer, Alex Mugisha. In exchange for gold, he has delivered arms and munitions to FRPI at the Semliki border crossing” (UNSC, P: 25, 15.12.2012).
With this evidence, there are clear indication that the group of rebels connected to Kipoi has traded their conflict minerals or gold with Ugandan counterparts. Therefore, to have middlemen in Uganda seems natural at this point. That is why the Presidents family is involved in this business as well.
But going back in time, the Observer had an article in 2nd November 2014 written by Sadab Kiatta Kaaya which stated: “In November last year, he was arrested by the DRC authorities but was later accorded a guest-of-the-state status, accommodated and protected by the DRC government. “You know he is a crafty man. I think when he got arrested, he told them that he has a rebel group and given the problems we have with them [DRC], they felt he would be of value to their interests,” Ambassador Kinobe said, when asked about Kipoi’s whereabouts” (The Observer – ‘DR Congo refuses to hand over ex-MP Kipoi’ 02.11.2014).
So after the troubles with law, even as a lawmaker and MP. He still had issues, which followed him from 2012 and also with the refusal to show-up in the Parliament. Tony has been one whose been in the spotlight of the President and the NRM. He has been one of many who has been alleged connected with militias and charged with treason. Kipoi isn’t the first one. He won’t be the last. What I wonder is who is connected to Alex Mugisha and does the business with the Congolese Rebels from Ituri. That would answer a lot of open questions.
It is hard to believe the information directly from the state, especially considering how they are not transparent about their looting of Congolese gold to through the Ugandan businesses. These are kept low-key and used to earn vast fortunes on others misfortunes. While supporting militias and insurgency inside the DRC. That is not news, but a fact that has been stated through international investigations and through the system of the United Nations Experts.
I’m just also wondering why Museveni turned on Kipoi and as he made him MP before taking him down. Now he is supposed detained and jailed in Uganda after a being in exile in Botswana. Why is suddenly back in the spotlight and getting into issues. What did he really do, pee on the lawn outside of the State House? Did he offend the buttocks of the Janet Museveni? What did he really do?
Would be nice to get some proper representation of the possible crimes he did, if he did any, since the evidence and the investigations of UPF isn’t representative and the criminal investigations can be turned in favor of the will of the President.
Why I can also question the government, is because the National Equality and Democracy, a liberation party from the diaspora wrote this on the 3rd December 2016: “The red notice meant that the Bubulo county West parliamentary representative Hon Kipoi Tonny Nsubuga would be arrested if found in any of the Interpol member countries. Interpol found that the organisation was being used wrongfully by the regime to pursue its political opponents. The winning of this case is historically a wakeup call and is a sign of injustice that all Ugandans are going through. Innocent Ugandans have been victims of circumstances for years under Museveni Rule. Since 2012 kipoi’s legal team has been battling political cases with Uganda government for an equal society. He emphasized much on Mr [ Museveni ] to do whatever he could in order to assist in restoring democracy, and stop unnecessary constitutional meddling which has lead to political instability in the country. The regime after falling out with him over political differences, he was accused of trying to overthrow the government, Kipoi left to exile in neighbouring DRC. The government continued to pursue him and even sued him under CRB No 1034/2013and secured a red notice 2014/11357 in Lyon France” (NED, 03.12.2016).
So we have the right to question the state, as the facts will not come from this regime, they will play it in their favor, just like they have done with other dissidents. Kipoi is just one of many in line of fire. Museveni isn’t graceful when coming to opponents. Peace.
The story that was published on the 20th November in Red Pepper named: “M7 Plotting To Overthrow Kagame – Rwanda”. Has clearly sparked some tensions within the National Resistance Movement and the Uganda Police Force. Since since 21st November the besieged paper, have been searched with warrants and the editors been charged today on the 23rd November with treason. This is like the Gen. Sejusa stories in May 2013 all over again. As the NRM are trying to deflect and says the stories are not true and is baseless. Still, they are assaulting and silencing the media who reported the story. It doesn’t make sense. If it is a baseless allegations and without merit. Wouldn’t it be better to not care or just file a complaint in court? Wouldn’t it be better to file a case and show that they have to retract the story after the allegations are falsified?
Instead, with the use of Anti-Terrorist Police and use of force within the headquarters after the story was published. You are allowed to question if the NRM are afraid of their secret operations and training camps of specialized militia. They have done similar with training camps in Kisoro for operations within Kivu provinces in Democratic Republic of Congo. So another story like this could be true. Therefore, with the recent reactions, it is harder not to be believe that Museveni wanted another foreign scalp. He has done that also in past, so he has the capacity and brazen armed tactics to fence of neighbors to get puppets there as well. Therefore, the story might be true, as the partisan police force are now attacking the Red Pepper.
Here is some reports on the latest news concerning the paper!
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has learned, with dismay, of the Red Pepper cover story carried on Monday November 20, 2017 with the headline “M7 plotting to overthrow Kagame – Rwanda” in which the Red Pepper reproduces a malicious article by a Rwandan online publication “Rushyashya” of an alleged plan by the Ugandan Government to overthrow the Rwanda Government. The Ministry dismisses, with contempt, allegations carried by any media publications or platforms to the effect that relations between Rwanda and Uganda are anything but strong and cordial. The Ministry informs the citizens of both Uganda and Rwanda that the continuous innuendo by the likes of “Rushyashya” and various other media outlets both in Uganda and Rwanda, including the Red Pepper is mischievous at best, irresponsible at worst and meant to sow discord between our two sister nations. The Ministry condemns such abuse of the communication platforms they are privileged to manage” (Amb. Patrick S. Mugoya – ‘UGANDA-RWANDA TIES SOLID’ 20.11.2017).
“Uganda: Committee to Protect Journalists concerned by reports that 8 senior managers and editors of RED Pepper UG were arrested yesterday over report. The directors and editors of Pepper Publications Group who were picked from their offices on Tuesday by police, are detained at Nalufenya Police Detention Centre in Jinja, according to Daily Monitor. The Tuesday operation was led by Kampala Metropolitan Commander, Mr Frank Mwesigwa. According to the company’s lawyer, Mr Dickens Byamukama, all the five directors and top editors were driven to Nalufenya at around mid-night. “All the directors plus three editors were taken to Nalufenya at around mindnight after being detained at our office for close to 8 hours. The police say they are going to drive them back to Kampala today [Wednesday], so we are still waiting on them,” Mr Byamukama said. The five directors are; Richard Tusiime (CEO), Patrick Mugumya (CPO), Arinaitwe Rugyendo (CM0), James Mujuni (CCO) and Johnson Musinguzi Byarabaha (CFO). The editors are; Ben Byarabaha (Managing Editor), Richard Kintu (News Editor) and Tumusiime Francis Tinywana (Bwino Newspaper Editor who doubles as General Manager)” (CPJ Africa – Committee to Protect Journalists, 22.11.2017).
“Namanve based Red Pepper Publications has been ordered closed after an earlier siege by security personnel this afternoon. A source inside Red Pepper tells Nile Post that after rummaging the offices, the media house has been ordered to shut. “We have been ordered to close, all workers also ordered to stop working,” the source intimates. The source also adds that all computers have been taken, while workers have been asked to surrender their phones and electronic gadgets. Immediately after surrendering items, staff at red pepper have been ordered to vacate the premises with immediate effect. Red Pepper publication on November 20 published an article with headline; “M7 plotting to overthrow Kagame – Rwanda” which was reproduced from a Rwandan online publication “Rushyashya” of an alleged plan by the Ugandan Government to overthrow the Rwanda Government. However, the government in a statement by Ministry of Affairs Permanent Secretary, Patrick Mugoya, has rubbished the claims, citing that the two countries are currently enjoying strong and cordial relations” (Information Uganda, 21.11.2017).
“Five directors and three editors of The Red Pepper are charged with treason, offensive communication and disturbing the peace of President Yoweri Museveni, Security Minister Henry Tumukunde and Gen. Salim Saleh. Those facing charges include directors, Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya, Johnson Musinguzi, Richard Tusiime and James Mujuni and editors Ben Byarabaha, Richard Kintu and Francis Tumusiime. They are all detained at Nalufenya Prison in Jinja district” (Uganda Radio Network, 23.11.2017).
So now the ones publishing a non-story is detained at Nalufenya and also charged with treason. They have taken all ICT and telecommunications at the headquarters. The Police and the Ministers has tried to deflect the story and saying there is nothing between Rwanda and Uganda. They have a cordial relationship as republics. But henceforth that is hard to believe, when editors and publishers of the Red Pepper is slapped with charges of treason.
They have clearly written something within the story of Museveni plotting to overthrow Kagame on the 20th November 2017. If there was nothing, would they have gone this far against the press and against the ones who wrote it? If there is nothing, why are they trying at the same time to deflect it to the media?
The signals they are sending and the assault on Red Pepper seems like panic-mode for a released story and dossier that hurts the relationship between Kagame and Museveni. As it shows again, that Museveni wants a puppet in Rwanda. That would not be surprising, as Museveni helped Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army in 1994, as the Rwandans helped him to power in 1986. The relationship between Kagame and Museveni have gone up and down over the years. But this would be a final blow between them. If not, Kagame maybe just don’t care about Museveni and his offerings.
Whatever, this is, it is clearly that it got the alert and the NRM working overtime. Since they cannot stomach the stories and the possible altercations created by it. They cannot manage to do it without reasons if it is a non-story. Like file a petition to court and get a verdict, then get damages and question the editors and journalists integrity. Instead, they are verifying the story, by detaining and putting charges of treason on their heads.
The toppling story of Kagame becomes more real, because of their actions. It seems less of conspiracy and more of a reality. Since the state has to do this to the publication and their workers. It makes it more likely, as their actions speaks louder than words. If it wasn’t anything to care about or fear. Why start with blazing guns and besiege the Red Pepper Headquarters?
The answer is within the state and within the security operation who has done this. It is within the leadership of the NRM and the Security Officials who are mentioned. They have the answers and could open up for possible reasoning. They cannot speak with double tongues. In one perspective: “it’s nothing, don’t look” and secondly: “it’s treasonous and criminal, don’t look!”. It is either a crime, because the state planned something criminal and trying to change the leadership in Rwanda. Or it is fiction, which could be challenged in the courts. Instead, the first is more likely, than the latter. That is because of the activity and the blatant acts of oppression against the Red Pepper. The NRM cannot hide from that, President Museveni can neither.
Kagame is the only one that should be smiling, since his counterparts has to clean-up his shop and show his real stamina. While keeping cool. That is why we haven’t heard anything from Rwanda on this matter. They are cool and smug about it. They should be too, since the NRM and Museveni is the ones losing face. Peace.