Kampala, Uganda – The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has distanced itself from the reported disappearance of Moses Nkonge Kibalama, the former head of the National Unity Platform (NUP).
Kibalama has been missing from his Buwambo home since Monday, where it is alleged that security personnel wearing military uniform have been deployed.
Speaking to the media on Friday, the Defence Spokesperson, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso, said that the mainstream UPDF is not responsible for Mr. Kibalama and has not been involved in any action against him, his family or close associates as reported by some media outlets.
On Friday September 18, the Daily Monitor quoted Kibalama’s private guard James Eyotu, who said people in military uniform had barred him from accessing the second gate which leads to his boss’ house.
In the same local media outlet, Fred Kizza, one of Kibalama’s sons is quoted to have said that they were worried about their father’s life because his telephone numbers had been switched off since his disappearance on Monday.
“I tried to call the driver but the person who picked up the phone told me to assure our family that our father was safe and was with the security answering some questions. I haven’t heard from him up to now,” Mr. Kizza said at their home in Buwambo.
However, Byekwaso faulted the media for missing the facts on this matter, adding that wherever Kibalama was being held, it could be for his own safety.
“From what I have picked, there were some intelligence reports that indicated threats to his life and planned violence at his premises,” she said.
She told Africa Tembelea on phone that, “UPDF has nothing to do with Kibalama’s detention. It could be sister agencies who are not under the command of UPDF.”
– Kibalama –
On Wednesday night, Mr. Kibalama appeared in a recorded video in which he denounced Robert Kyagulanyi to whom he sold his party, NUP back in July and asked to have it back. In the video, Kibalama is heard saying that a USD5 million (Shs18.5 billion) deal they had with Bobi Wine to make him the party president failed to materialise thus deciding to repossess what originally belonged to him.
“After a long period of the people power group threatening me and failing to adhere to the memorandum of understanding made between us and the people power group we have made a decision to retain the NUP since Mr. Kyagulanyi and his group cannot follow the objectives of the party,” Kibalama said.
However, in a statement issued on Thursday, Robert Kyagulanyi better known as Bobi Wine said the allegation should be treated with the contempt it deserves.
“In a very shameful way, Mr. Kibalama states that we promised to pay him five million US dollars ($5m) for transferring the party leadership. Treat this with the contempt it deserves. We are aware that for a very long time, the regime in Uganda has tried to portray us as people who get lots of money from foreigners!” Bobi Wine said.
According to Bobi Wine, Museveni is doing everything possible so that he doesn’t appear on the ballot paper, adding that it has been evident from challenging his academic qualifications, date of birth, and “planting guns” in his room.
He noted that more unbelievable things are yet to be seen but cautioned President Museveni that he was bound to defeat him in a democratic election.