Police say they are not holding Turkey based blogger, Fred Kajjubi Lumbuye as it has for days been claimed by some section of the public and media.
Lumbuye, a famous blogger who has for months used Facebook and YouTube to disseminate information deemed by many as false and baseless only aimed at inciting violence as well as causing divisionism and mayhem in the country.
He as well attacked Buganda Kingdom premier, Charles Peter Mayiga, top government officials, senior security officers whom he branded several names. The motor mouthed blogger also announced the Kabaka of Buganda dead as well as President Yoweri Museveni.
As fake news started spreading of Museveni’s death, Lumbuye in a video posted on his YouTube channel on July 2nd claimed that Museveni ordered his family that once he is dead, he should not be publicly declared dead until after one year.
At the time, government warned Ugandans against misusing social media to propagate fake news and inciting violence by making outrageous and unfounded claims. Security vowed to arrest individuals that would remain adamant including those living out of the country.
Now, on Wednesday last week, news indicating that Lumbuye had been arrested in Turkey broke out and widely spread by other Ugandans abroad. However, no authorities in Uganda or Turkey would immediately confirm the development.
But two days later, Uganda’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem confirmed it, saying that Lumbuye and a number of other Ugandans were arrested by authorities in Turkey on grounds of violating several immigration regulations.
He would further reveal that Lumbuye and group were being deported and would arrive at Entebbe International Airport on Saturday morning.
“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 enroute to Uganda where they will arrive in the early hours of tomorrow (Saturday) morning.”
He said on arrival at Entebbe International Airport, Lumbuye and his accomplices would be received by relevant authorities before being questioned on the various offences they allegedly committed, that have direct implications in Uganda.
That morning, journalists and some of Lumbuye’s friends including lawyers who waited for his arrival didn’t see him, creating anxiety in the public about his whereabouts. Some people claimed that he was actually not repatriated while others said Lumbuye might have been secretly returned in to the country and kept in one of the security facilities.
However, while addressing reporters on Monday, Police Spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga said Lumbuye is not in their custody and that his whereabouts are also not known to them. He further mentioned that despite not having him currently, police has about 15 cases files against him.
“As police, we have 15 case files against Fred Kajjubi Lumbuye under investigation surrounding acts of spreading harmful information or propaganda, sharing video inciting the public to protest using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to incite chaos in the public and also other cyber crimes,” Enanga said.
“Until Fred Kajjubi Lumbuye is handed over to police, we shall come up with a statement indicating allegations against him and the status of the investigations. That is where our boundary is. Whether he is in the country or not yet in the country, for us our interest as police is that once he is handed over to us, we shall process him along his 15 cases files that were open up against him,” he added.
Enanga wondered why reporters were insisting on knowing from police the whereabouts of Fred Lumbuye.
“If he is not in our hands, how do you expect us to come out and tell the public where he is?” Enanga asked.
Meanwhile, the head of the youth wing of the opposition National Unity Platform, Francis Zaake who is currently in Turkey, on Monday morning claimed that Lumbuye is still in Turkey in the hands of Turkish authorities and that there are ongoing efforts to have him regain his freedom.