WINE RETURN: HOW AKULLO, TOP FEMALE MP SAVED BOBI FROM FRESH TORTURE WOES
By Mulengera Reporters
Contrary to what many might be knowing by now, Bobi Wine’s ability to safely reach home last Thursday didn’t come that spontaneously. Some people invested time in very difficult negotiations to ensure that at least Mr. Wine, who painfully missed the joy of being welcomed by jubilant processions, reached his Magere home in one piece. There were fears shared by many, including his own lawyer Nicholas Opio, that the political lion from Magere would sustain fresh wounds that day, something that would complicate his ongoing healing process. A special report in the East African weekly newspaper shows that at the center of these delicate behind the scenes negotiations were three people. These are Nicholas Opio, CIID Director Grace Akullo and a female MP from Teso sub region whose identity the regional newspaper conceals. They only refer to her as “President Yoweri Museveni’s confidant.” In a report filed by Kampala-based senior journalist Charles M Mpagi, the regional newspaper extensively quotes Opio on some but not all the things they carry therein. That on that fateful Thursday, Opio was in Akullo’s office trying to secure police permission for Bobi to have his procession along Entebbe road. Not much progress was made because the phone calls coming through to Akullo’s phone became too many and the two couldn’t coherently discuss matters at hand. As Opio was in Akullo’s office worried that time was running out (Mr. Wine was already in transit), the news article shows that a female MP who was already in Entebbe dialled her other phone and put herself on loud speaker for Akullo and Opio to hear her instruct one of the police commanders on the ground at Entebbe to let Opio through so that, unlike all the other Bobi people that had been turned away since morning, Nicholas Opio would be let through to the airport’s VIP section. Indeed Opio drove and reached the VIP longue.
He was smartly dressed being the excellent amiable lawyer he is and nobody bothered him. While at the VIP longue, the newspaper reports that, arrangements were made for Opio to speak to Mr. Wine on phone. He pleaded with him to abandon whatever plans he had for confrontation with the military on grounds that he was still frail and any physical confrontation would leave him more wounded and thereby prolong his healing process. As Wine prepared to respond to Opio’s proposal, security men pounced on him and forcefully dragged him away to a waiting convoy of police and military vehicles. Opio remained there stuck and not knowing what had happened to his client the other side of the line. As he pondered his next move, a message came through that Senior Police Officer James Ruhweza wanted to have a one on one moment with him. Opio was told Ruhweza was waiting for him at the Aviation Police station. He reluctantly agreed to sit in a police pick up that drove him there. As he moved there, his client Wine was being carried through the old Airport to his Magere home where he was dropped “without much fuss.” That, according to the East African, is how Mr. Wine ended up the way he did on Thursday. The paper also refers to prior 2005 & 2011 experiences of Col Kizza Besigye and Mayor Nasser Sebaggala whose Entebbe-Kampala political processions were permitted partly because figures with bigger political clout spearheaded negotiations with police to let them be which wasn’t the case with Bobi whose People Power team largely comprises of less prolific political figures. Where Wine has the likes of Micheal Mabikke, Sam Lubega & Henry Lubowa, Besigye had men like Semujju Nganda, Hussein Kyanjo, Wafula Oguttu, Augustine Ruzindana, John Kazoora, Gen Mugisha Muntu, Rubaramira Ruranga sitting with police hierarchy to negotiate concessions for his safe passage. In the case of Sebaggala, you had highly experienced men like Sebaana Kizito, Diamano Lubega, Anthony Sekweyama, Nsubuga Nsambu, Ken Lukyamuzi, PK Semogerere etc assuring the police leadership all would be well. Perhaps that’s how Seya was permitted to have his two grand processions (1999 from jail & 2004 from studies in UK) that cut off Entebbe Road, Uganda’s only access to the Airport, for a whole day. For feedback, reach us on 0703164755.