By Our Reporters
War has erupted pitting influential figures in the Uganda Police Force against one another. On one hand is the Mining Police Commandant Jessica Keigomba against whom senior colleagues in the Force have ganged up protesting her improper involvement into a civil dispute between an investor and his local Ugandan partners in Busia. At the center of the row is Mustafa Semih Gecgil (a Turkish mining investor) who has since last year been in court battling his former gold mining business partners who include Ali Hussein Odima, Umaru Opachet, Monday Odima and Moses Musinguzi. They are fighting over disagreements arising from the joint gold business they have been running in Ttira village Sikudda sub county in Busia district. Disagreements started when Mustafa insisted on using the proceeds from the gold business to pay governments royalties, URA taxes and workers emoluments as a matter of priority as opposed to his partners who preferred maximizing profits at the expense of meeting other relevant obligations. Oblivious of the fact that Mustafa came to invest in Uganda on the invitation of the President who wished to use him to teach the Busia artisans about value addition and business formality, the Ugandan partners turned against Mustafa and even tried to throw him out of the gold business in which he has over the years invested over $5m (roughly Shs15bn).
In a bid to criminally overcome Mustafa and eliminate him from his own duly incorporated business, the Ugandan partners sought the services of Jessica Keigomba with whom they pleaded to abusively use her office to meddle into what ideally was supposed to be a purely civil dispute in a manner that puts the Turkish investor at a very crippling disadvantage. They successfully used her (being the Commandant of the Mining Police) to plot Mustafa’s dubious deportation on grounds that he was illegally in Uganda and Keigomba originated criminal files accusing the man of illegal gold mining in Busia district. With the assistance of RDC Kato Matanda, Mustafa who continued to face death threats approached several offices including State House whose Mohamed Mayanja wrote a strongly-worded letter to the DPP calling on him to intervene and restrain his State Attorneys from being used to sanction malicious criminal charges targeting Mustafa, his family members (including a 20-year-old son) and his other allies. Mayanja whose letter was copied to the PPS gives Chibita the chronology of the trauma Mustafa has endured in his efforts to genuinely invest in Busia. Acting on information provided by the Odimas, Keigomba went as far as confiscating some of the equipment and trucks Mustafa has been using in Busia to run his lawful gold business. At the end of the day hard circumstances were created for Mustafa to the extent that he couldn’t carry on with the business. Unable to operate for months as Keigomba’s men intensified harassment against him and his employees, Mustafa found himself with a lot of salary and URA arears which he continues to be unable to pay. This painful experience prompted him to file a case with court in Mbale. In the Magistrate’s court alone, Mustafa has so far filed three successful applications against Keigomba and other police men accusing them of criminal interference with his business. According to Mustafa’s lawyer Alex Luganda, Keigomba has been acting with so much impunity to the extent that he was recently instructed by his client to file for contempt of court proceedings against the Commandant. On being served with summons Keigomba told off the lawyers saying she is too big a person to respond summons issued by such small courts. Luganda says nevertheless, the Mbale magistrate court’s Her Worship Lillian CN Mwanda went ahead and found Keigomba and others guilty for contempt of court. This was after she had led her men like Moses Musinguzi to defy two earlier court orders calling on them to stop their criminal interference with the conduct of Mustafa’s lawful business. Luganda says they will soon be going for execution which will culminate into Keigomba’s disgraceful arrest.
POLICE BOSSES CLASH
In a bid to find some administrative way to effectively enforce the numerous court orders against Keigomba, Mustafa’s lawyers have written to several police offices seeking to be guided. These offices are occupied by men of superior rank who Keigomba is ordinarily expected to respect. Unfortunately, she hasn’t respected any and the impunity continues unabated prompting Mustafa to consider fleeing the country back to Turkey. Some of the superiors whose directives Keigomba has ignored include SSP Caesar Tusingwire who (as Bukedi area RPC) wrote a directive of 27th January which Keigomba’s men disrespected. He was educating them on the consequences of defying a court order. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Keigomba also ignored a written legal directive that the police director legal affairs Erasmus Twaruhukwa penned on 15th February clearly explaining the dangers of defying court orders. The PSU bosses too have been petitioned and called upon to reprimand Keigomba for operational misconduct but this hasn’t had any constraining effect Keigomba. Police publicist Fred Enanga too has tried to intervene urging Keigomba to avoid conduct that can soil the police image and his efforts too have gone unheeded. Yet that’s not all. Busia RDC Kato Matanda is a fairly respected person because he serves as Dean of RDCs. He has several times intervened but Keigomba hasn’t listened. Instead she has been threatening to subject him to a very humiliating arrest totally oblivious of the fact that he is the President’s representative and automatically her superior because by law he is the head of security in a district. Luganda says that his client has done everything humanly possible (including referring the matter to the members of the Turkish business forum in Kampala) and the only option he is remaining with is to abandon Uganda and seek investment opportunities elsewhere in the EAC region. He says that his state of art equipment (worth millions of Dollars) is lying idle in Busia as Keigomba carries on with her impunity.