Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#Uganda investigative journalist lives in fear of govt security forces @IGPUganda @aKasingye @PoliceUg @StanleyNdawula

Ugandan Journalist in fear for his life over reporting about the murdered Assistant Inspector General of Police, Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Stanley Ndawula 45 is a Ugandan journalist and proprietor the Investigator Publications Limited that runs an online newspaper
In the wake of killing public officials most especially big fish in the military and the police force, the media has always been intimidated by state while executing its watchdog roles. The most recent was the murder of the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi on  17th march 2017.                                          .After this shock wave, the media houses in Uganda embarked on investigative stories to put to book the infiltrators in the police force who President Y K Museveni held responsible for these assassinations.
It is at this wake up moment that Stanley who’s been an investigative journalist for 20 years started publishing series titled ‘Crime infiltrated police records’. Little did he know that he was putting his life and that of his family at stake.  In one of the series’ episodes, he shamed police for tasking SSP Nickson  Karuhanga and SPC Abdu Semujju to carry out investigations on  the murdered AIGP  yet these two have murder files tagged to their names. The most intriguing episode was when the site proved to the public that the above two had paraded fake suspects who absolutely had no clue of where even the scene of crime was located. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura immediately secured a court injunction stopping all media houses from publishing or running anything in relation to the AIGP’s murder with the case still under investigation.
Since then, Stanley started receiving threatening phone calls from anonymous people who claimed to be security operatives warning him to slow  his investigating pace down lest he wouldn’t love the outcomes. Through his social media manager Charles Etukuri, the Inspector General of Police and the first son Gen Muhoozi Keinerugaba expressed their bitterness towards Stanley. Etukuri who is also a journalist with New Vision Publishing Limited  suggested a meeting between Stanley and IGP in Jinja district which the former declined and asked a formal meeting either in the IGP’s office and through the right channels not a mere phone call. The response Stanley received exacerbated the situation.

“if you cant look for the IGP, he will look for you and you wouldn’t like the idea” said Etukuri in a phone call.
More calls flew in warning Stanley to keep indoors tipping him on a planned kidnap by Col Atwoki Ndahura of Crime Intelligence. Tired of hiding and living in fear, Stanley called Col Ndahura asking what they required of him. Col Ndahura acknowledged how Stanley had become a stumbling block to the IGP. Next was setting him up to meet a certain musician who wanted his concert to be promoted by Stanley’s site but in disguise, his kidnap was to be executed only to be alerted by  a text from an insider in a certain security organ.
He confronted the musician who denied playing the bait role and offered whisking him away in his personal car to Entebbe district. On contacting Security minister Henry Tumukunde, he was vulnerised when the Minister couldn’t do anything to help him out of the situation. On Col Ndahura’s orders, Stanley met a one Wilson Nkeiza from whom he begged for his freedom away from being tracked and threatened. This message travelled as fast as a rocket reaching the IGP. The next morning, Col Ndahura called Stanley saying “ I have been withdrawn . I am no longer on your back. I have orders from my boss to let you be…”

All this he said in a letter he wrote to President Museveni begging for his intervention into the situation. An excerpt of this letter’s conclusion read……
the purpose of this letter to the Fountain of Honor, Court of last Resort is a humble request to protect my practice and my profession within the laws of the country. I yearn to enjoy my gainful and meaningful living, more so in conjuction with Team of investigators in my profession; and to this end to retain a modicum of credibility in the court of public opinion. If I may end here, I said earlier Your Excellency; I will not flee my country. That means without your positive response, the unintended consequences of the IGP course is being left to the mercy of my oppressor(s), my children and wider family will be the worse without me.”

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