MINISTER TUMWEBAZE BREAKS SILENCE ON REPORTS THAT HE SECRETLY SENT BILLIONS TO RWANDA
By Mulengera Reporter
Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze, has spoken out on media claims that he and other senior government officials and businessmen wired billions to Kigali to help Uganda’s south-western neighbour through the current Covid19 crisis.
The claims are supported by suspicious correspondences including one allegedly authored by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente and sent to President Paul Kagame to inform him that Rwanda had “accepted and received specific messages from the foreign allies and close friends from Territory North.”
In this particular letter, Ngirente allegedly lists Ugandan allies who had contributed to Rwanda’s Covid19 efforts in an operation coordinated by Infrastructure Minister Claver Gatete. Before naming the generous Ugandan Ministers and businesspeople, Ngirente tells Kagame that the plot to get financing from Kampala allies “has been achieved too smartly, carefully, steadily and safely.
On the list contained in the suspicious letter are Tumwebaze who reportedly contributed $600,000 (about Shs2.3bn) and State Minister of Finance in charge of Planning David Bahati who allegedly offered $1,050,000 (almost Shs4bn). Other correspondences making rounds online suggest that the alleged transactions were processed through the Rwandan envoy to Uganda Maj Gen Frank Mugambagye.
Besides Ministers David Bahati, other alleged contributors are State Minister for Housing Chris Baryomunsi, former Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) spymaster Brig Charles Bakahumura, and former National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) boss William Muhairwe.
But in a statement issued on Saturday, Minister Tumwebaze described the correspondences and all reports linking him to Rwanda as steeped in emptiness. He has since urged concerned security offices to deal with the fake news vendors and those they work for, claiming that intelligence offices knew these suspects.
“These fake fabrications are being vended around thru various social media platforms. I always ignore such and many of the kind but for the sake of friends and followers, just know these are fake. Their vendors and sponsors are known and have been at it for a long time,” wrote Tumwebaze.
“I hope our security and intelligence services who have the details will act on them and also establish the motive.”
Already, reports indicate that embattled Internal Security Organisation (ISO) cyber desk chief Simon Odongo was interrogated over the reports linking Tumwebaze and others to Kigali’s alleged plot to destabilise Kampala, and claims that the top Museveni government officials had supported Rwanda’s Covid19 efforts.
Odongo is facing charges of espionage, illegal possession of fire arms and military uniform and is currently detained at the Makindye Military Barracks. Investigators have expanded the probe to include claims that Odongo could have offered biased and false intelligence reports, including the ones that reportedly landed former Uganda Police Force (UPF) Chief Gen Kale Kayihura into trouble with his boss Gen Yoweri Museveni. One of the leads being followed is the part Odongo played in fabricating allegations that Gen Kayihura reportedly had a hand in the murder in March 2017 of former Police Spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Uganda and Rwanda have in recent years had troubling relations with either nation accusing her neighbour of planning to over throw her president, among other allegations. The tensions between Kampala and Uganda even prompted Kagame to close key border points. Negotiations between Museveni and Kagame, brokered by Angola President Joao Lourenco and DRC’s Felix Tshisekedi ,are yet to result in a lasting solution.
In an interview with Chimpreports, Tumwebaze claimed that the ‘fabrications’ were meant to cause his sacking from Cabinet and that his enemies have been labouring, through such schemes, to ensure that he falls from grace to grass.
“All those malicious schemes against me started in 2012 after I was appointed Cabinet Minister. So, they are not new; their vendors and sponsors are known. I have chosen to ignore them and focus on my work,” Tumwebaze was quoted as saying.
“The God who appointed me into leadership will surely defeat them. I, however, demand that the security and intelligence agencies of this country help us to act on these criminal networks. Trying to soil our names isn’t a big deal, but maybe the next step will be to target our lives.”
Also Kibale East MP, Tumwebaze has been minister for Kampala Affairs and the Presidency, Minister of ICT and National Guidance, and is currently serving as Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
Aged 44, Tumwebaze is seen as a close ally of First Son and the President’s Advisor on Special Operations Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba who some have for years linked to Museveni’s succession plan, especially since former spy chief Gen David Sejusa first claimed there was a plot to eliminate government and military officials opposed to what he called the ‘Muhoozi Project.”
Months ago, Lt Gen Kainerugaba said his generation had turned the rumoured ‘Muhoozi Project’ from a curse into a blessing. (See: FIRST SON KAINERUGABA SPILLS BEANS ON MUHOOZI PROJECT, TALKS WITH HIS ‘FRIEND & BROTHER’ BOBI WINE).
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