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Dr Kiyingi coup plot unveilled

Dr Aggrey Kiyingi

Prosecution claims to have solid evidence that Aggrey Kiyingi and 19 accomplices established rebel training camps in Uganda and held meetings in Kenya, Tanzania and Dubai in a bid to topple Museveni by force of arms.

The state may have dropped treason charges against Dr Aggrey Kiyingi but according to the summary of its case prepared on August 26, the Australia-based cardiologist was in the thick of the plot to overthrow the government.

Last year, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) dropped treason charges against Kiyingi, arguing that the state had failed to apprehend him. But the case did not die as the state committed 19 suspects to the International Crimes Division (ICD) on August 29. Their trial is scheduled to begin next month.

Prosecution alleges that the accused and others still at large, between January 2014 and June 2015, in various places such as Kampala, Wakiso, Gulu, Kitgum, Mbale, Masaka, Mpigi, Rakai, Jinja, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Kenya and Tanzania plotted to overthrow the government by force of arms, which they executed through utterances and overt acts.

Until now, details of Dr Kiyingi’s alleged involvement in treason had been kept under wraps. But according to the indictment, Kiyingi played an expansive role from being the main financier to a strategist.

According to the state, in 2013, when Kiyingi began plotting to overthrow the government, he sought the services of his sister in-law Aisha Nakasibante, Accused number 1 (AI).

It is alleged that Nakasibante worked as the link between Kiyingi in Australia and the Uganda-based plotters. She and Kiyingi allegedly identified one Amir Kinene (A3) as suitable for the task.

“Overtime, Kiyingi remitted funds to Uganda through Western Union money transfer service to Nakasibante… to facilitate the achievements of this objective. The money sent to Nakasibante…was meant for logistics including the purchase of arms and ammunitions, purchase of motor vehicles and motorcycles to ease mobility, recruitment and training of young men particularly from the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) combatants with a military background,” the summary partly reveals.

Prosecution further contends that Kiyingi and Nakasibante started implementing their strategy by planning various meetings within Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Dubai. The people who allegedly attended the meetings in Dubai include Kinene, Alex Okot (A7) and one Jushua alias Joshi who is still at large.

During this meeting, Kiyingi reportedly tasked the group, in particular Kinene, to mobilize and recruit people who could participate in the struggle. Various meetings were allegedly held in Kampala between Nakasibante and Kinene at Nakasero mosque where the latter identified Badru Bukenya (A2) who is a former ADF combatant.

Bukenya was assigned the role of trainer/instructor and further tasked Kinene to recruit and mobilize more Muslim youths. Prosecution contends that Nakasero mosque was their centre for coordination, meetings and mobilization.

“Consequently, Bukenya, as the chief instructor, together with other accused persons conscripted several young men to undergo military training and join their rebel activities of fighting the government. He trained them in various camps established in Nalukolongo, Nateete, Masaka, Mpigi, Mbale and other parts of the country,” the evidence summary suggests. 

Prosecution identifies people who were recruited and trained in various camps to include; Hakim Kinene Muswaswa (A4), Muzairu Kasawuli (A5), Hajj Abdulratif Byamukama alias Tusiime (A12), Asadu Ssemowgerere (A13), Issa Mutanda alias Suleiman Magombe (A10) and Yusuf Sentamu alias Kasibante (A16).

According to prosecution, Kinene, Nakasibante and Badru Bukenya made frequent checks at the various training camps to assess the progress of the military training.
Muswaswa (A4) was allegedly asked to acquire travel documents for whoever was meant to travel out of the country to meet Kiyingi. He, for example, assisted Bukenya to acquire a passport.

“Further meetings with Kiyingi in the bid to overthrow the government were held in Tanzania. In one of the meetings in 2013, attended by Kiyingi, Nakasibante, Kinene, Badru Bukenya, Murta Bukenya and others, Kiyingi pledged to inject more money in military training, purchase of training uniforms, shoes, motor vehicles and motorcycles. This meeting was meant to introduce Badru Bukenya to Kiyingi as the person who was in charge of the military training,” the evidence suggests.

Prosecution says that shortly thereafter, another meeting with Kiyingi took place in Nairobi, Kenya. It was attended by Kinene, Badru Bukenya, Joshi and others. The group allegedly discussed how to acquire arms and ammunitions particularly from northern Uganda and South Sudan. Bukenya was tasked to spearhead the operation to acquire arms from these two sources.

Subsequently, Nakasibante allegedly purchased three motor vehicles and four motorcycles and distributed them to some of the conspirators. Police contends that it recovered these motor vehicles and motorcycles and shall tender them in court as evidence.

Prosecution further avers that in March 2014, Kiyingi sent to Uganda one John Hunter, an Australian national, to make an assessment of the status of recruitments and training so far done and how much more assistance and logistics were required.   

Hunter arrived in Uganda on March 4, 2014. He was allegedly received by Nakasibante. During his time in Uganda, he was accommodated at Jovine Motel on plot 901 Nabunya road, Lubaga division, in Kampala. All his bills were covered by Nakasibante. She facilitated Hunter, Badru Bukenya, Kinene and others to travel to the various camps for inspection using Yusus Sentamu alias Kasibante (A16) as their driver.

The mission to get arms and ammunition in northern Uganda and South Sudan was allegedly led by Badru Bukenya, Okidi, Joseph Olanya alias Onekmon (A8) and Joshua. One of the motor vehicles acquired by Nakasibante, a Toyota Super Custom omnibus that was used in this operation, reportedly got involved in an accident and had to be towed to Kampala.

In the course of these operations, information of the plot to overthrow the government was leaked to police chief Gen Kale Kayihura who initiated the hunt for the accused persons. The police zeroed in on Kasawuli and attempted to arrest him. He escaped, leaving behind a motorcycle and a bag containing military notes.

When Kinene learnt that police was after him, he reportedly hid at his cousin Sserunjogi’s home. Sserunjogi is charged with refusing to give this information to any authority and instead continuing to hide Kinene until they were arrested together.

Prosecution claims police recovered a laptop containing e-mail communication between Kinene and Kiyingi as well as a satellite phone. These exhibits are to be relied on during the trial, according to the evidence summary. During the arrest of Kasibante, police says they recovered a laptop and other items from him.

Police investigations further revealed that Asadu Ssemwogerere (A13) and Solomon Kibirige (A14) were used as special couriers for purposes of conveying information and physical items. The two were allegedly traced by police and arrested in Dubai.

“Police investigations further revealed that Kiyingi had established an operation base in Dubai for this project. The base was being manned by Kasibante, Muhammad Kalodo, Ismail Sentongo and others. It was established that the above persons played a pivotal role in coordinating the plot to overthrow the government. This group was deported from United Arab Emirates in early 2016 and was promptly arrested upon arrival at Entebbe airport,” the evidence suggests.

In its final submission, the state promises to contend that the accused persons do not have any valid defence and will pray that they be convicted as charged.

slubwama@observer.ug

This post was syndicated from Breaking and latest news, analysis, comments, business, lifestyle, entertainment and sports from Uganda. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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