Uganda government has confirmed the arrest of Turkey based blogger, Kabuye Fred Lumbuye, who they say, is being deported back to Uganda.
Uganda’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem says Lumbuye and a number of other Ugandans were arrested by authorities in Turkey, on grounds of violating several immigration regulations.
Lumbuye is a famous blogger who has for months used Facebook and YouTube to disseminate information that is critical to the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni. He used the platforms to spread information deemed by many as false, baseless only aimed at inciting violence and causing divisionism and mayhem in the country.
Lumbuye who had morphed into a troublesome purveyor of fake news of all sorts while making outrageous and bogus claims, has also severally attacked Buganda Kingdom premier, Charles Peter Mayiga, top government officials, senior military and police officers branding them all sorts of names.
He at some point announced the Kabaka of Buganda dead as well as President Yoweri Museveni. The head of state and security would in the two cases warn the public against circulating fake news and vowed to bring the culprits including those outside the country to book.
As fake news started spreading of Museveni’s death, Lumbuye in a video posted on his YouTube channel on July 2, claimed that Museveni ordered his family that once he is dead, he should not be publicly declared dead until after one year.
Such are the arguments he shared with his viewers in a bid to convice them that the president is indeed dead. He also claimed that former four-times presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye is among people who met First Lady Janet Museveni to plan life without Museveni.
News of Lumbuye arrest in Turkey popped up on Wednesday morning widely spread by other Ugandans abroad. No authorities in Uganda or Turkey would confirm the development.
Police in Uganda through the CID spokesperson, ASP Charles Twiine told this news website then that “we are waiting for an official communication from either Interpol or Ministry of Foreign affairs.” Minister Oryem, although didn’t confirm the arrest immediately, he on Wednesday, told reporters that nobody was above the law.
Lumbuye’s whereabouts remained unknown as several Ugandans on social media demanded to know where he was detained and which authorities were behind his arrest.
However, in a turn of events, Okello Oryem in an abrupt press conference on Friday afternoon confirmed that Lumbuye had been arrested alongside other people by authorities in Turkey over breach of immigration rules.
“Lumbuye is in custody of the Turkish authorities with some other Ugandans and they have been charged with several offences the Turkish authorities have preferred including breach of immigration regulations and rules,” said Oryem on Friday.
The Minister added that Lumbuye and group “will be deported or are en-route to Uganda where they will arrive in the early hours of tomorrow (Saturday) morning.”
He says on arrival at Entebbe International Airport, Lumbuye and his accomplices will be received by relevant authorities before being questioned on the various offences they allegedly committed.
Some of the offences, according to the minister, have direct implications in Uganda. He further gave an assurance to the public and relatives of the held individuals that they will be accorded a fair hearing and processed in the due process.
“I want to assure you that they will be brought before the courts of law after questioning them and recording statements. The events will then take course in regard to charges preferred against them by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP),” said Oryem.
“I have seen so much hysteria on social media claiming that if Lumbuye is returned to Uganda, he will be mistreated and executed. I want to categorically assure Ugandans that Lumbuye and others will be given cordial treatment,” he added
A couple of weeks ago, a one Jamilu Ssekyondwa a resident of Luweero District was arrested for allegedly circulating the fake news that claimed that President Museveni had died.
Twiine said the move kicked off what will likely be a series of arrests since the hunt was on for more people who shared the fake news pronouncing the head of state dead.