Uganda Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga has said the force is unaware of the whereabouts of Government critic and blogger Fred Lumbuye, despite government’s earlier assurance on his alleged deportation this weekend.
Enanga said, Lumbuye is not in police custody but once he is handed over, 15 case files are ready for prosecution against him.
“He (Lumbuye) is not in our hands. Once he is handed over to us, we will issue a statement. That is where our boundaries are, whether he is in the country or not, we are going to wait. Whether he is in a country or not, for us our interest as the police is that once he is handed over to us, we shall process him along the 15 case files that we have opened against him” Enanga said during a weekly press briefing in Kampala.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem, on Friday, told journalists that Lumbuye was arrested in Turkey and would be deported into Uganda in the wee hours of Friday night.
However, Internal Affairs Spokesperson Jacob Siminyu told NBS TV that Lumbuye was not among the passengers on the flight that landed from Turkey later that evening.
“Ours is to clear every passenger that comes, Lumbuye was not among the passengers and we have not cleared anyone by that name.” Siminyu said,
A strong critic of the Ugandan government, Fred Lumbuye’s arrest comes a month after Museveni directed security operatives to track down Ugandans accused of spreading fake news on social media. He is among other cases accused of starting false rumors that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni died.
“I want us to be very very clear with that. I don’t want any other questions that may be ‘so where should he be.’ If he is not in our hands, how do you expect us to come out and tell the public where he is?” Enanga added.
The statements of the police spokesperson comes at the backdrop of demands from opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) in regard to Lumbuye’s whereabouts.
“3 days ago, Foreign Affairs State Minister Okello Oryem said political activist Fred Lumbuye was on a flight to Uganda having been deported by Turkey & that on arrival police would hold him &produce him in court. Since Govt was aware of the trip, they should account for his whereabouts.” NUP Spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi tweeted on Monday.
Minister Oryem is however quoted to have said that as government, they played their part and what remains is now in hands of security circles.