Police say Dem Gaster Opondo, a young brother to government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo who was arrested the end of the year is detained following a complaint which was opened against him at the Police CID headquarters in Kibuli.
On December 27, Gaster, a reknown supporter of ‘People Power’ Movement a pressure group affiliated to Kyadondo East lawmaker, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, was arrested in Tororo, Eastern Uganda, where he had travelled for Christmas holidays. He was then briefly detained at Tororo Central Police Station before ferrying him to Kabalagala police station in Kampala.
Gaster’s wife and other family members led by another brother to Ofwono Opondo, Jonah Okoth Opondo, this week came out to accuse government spokesperson of being behind the continued detention of their brother on allegations that he (Gaster) abused Ofwono as well as ashaming him, a senior leader in government, by publicly denouncing President Yoweri Museveni and endorsing opposition politician, Bobi Wine.
Police deputy spokesperson, Patrick Onyango has clarified on the matter by saying that the accused is charged with offensive communication.
“Mr Opondo was arrested last year in Tororo and transferred to Kampala because the complaint against him was opened at CID headquarters. He’s being charged with offensive communication under the Computer Misuse Act. His file has been taken to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for perusal and legal advice,” Onyango said.
Gaster has for sometime been using his Facebook account to accuse Ofwono Opondo and a one Mark Opowo, of being greedy and grabbing land belonging to Mulanda Church of Uganda in Tororo district.
“To you two greedy selfish government officials Mark Opowo of Uganda Wildlife Authority and Ofwono Opondo the Uganda government Spokesperson, do not think by intimidating me, my mother and the people around me using security operatives and goons will shut my mouth from speaking the evil you have done by grabbing the community and poor people’s land of Mulanda Tororo district and the murders you have done on innocent Ugandans. I know this is the main reason as to why you stalk me,” read Gaster’s post on Facebook on December 15.
In another post on December 19, he stated that Ugandans pay heavy taxes from which they don’t benefit, but instead, these taxes take care of President Museveni and his family.
“We seem to have taken our eyes off the ball and now we have left the enemy to score freely. This country is facing a disaster and if we keep on being distracted by self seekers, we’re putting ourselves back to the starting point”
“We need to focus our attention back to the original cause of our frustrations which is Museveni. Our people are dying unnecessarily, we pay too much taxes for one family to be taken care of. We should be outraged that for over 33 years, your money has been used to take care of Museveni and his family and now your money is being used to take care of his grandchildren and soon his great grandchildren and what are we doing?” read Gaster Opondo’s post in parts.
Okoth on Wednesday said that his brother Gaster should be availed justice and charged in courts of law and judged “correctly”.
He also said that the family is worried about the fact that their person continues to be detained yet he did not get any medical attention after being allegedly assaulted by Police officers while in Tororo.
But Onyango dismissed the claims that Gaster was beaten. He says the accused is only seeking public sympathy.
“He’s trying to get sympathy from members of the public by alleging that when he was in our cells, he was tortured and made to do things that are unbearable. That’s a baseless allegation. We do not torture suspects who are in our custody,” Onyango added.
Our efforts to speak to Ofwono Opondo were futile since he could not pick our telephone calls.