By Isaac Nuwagaba
The Police in Kampala are hunting for former Isingiro North County Parliamentary aspirant Prossy Ayebare Bishokye over allegations of promoting sectarianism.
Ayebare was a publicity assistant of former presidential aspirant Joseph Kiiza Kabuleta of the National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED) party.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said Monday (December 12) that they have started hunting for Ayebare after reviewing audios of the purported speech that was read at the grand occasion when Kabuleta summoned all regional party delegates to a special meeting before registering NEED as a political party.
Onyango made the remarks during an interview at his office at the Kampala Central Police Station.
Ayebare is alleged to have read out to the public the minutes of a meeting of a suspected 50-year leadership master plan of National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, claiming to have been documented by top government leaders at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni at his home in Rwakitura on March 15, 1992.
The suspect, according to the Police, read it out to over 200 NEED supporters on May 30, 2022, at Serena Hotel Conference Centre in Kampala.
“We are calling upon Ayebare to come to the Police and make a statement because we are hunting for her to aid us in the investigations of the case which is now under Nakawa Magistrates Court in Kampala,” Onyango said.
“Kabuleta, Ayebare and others still at large on May 30, 2022 in Kampala district uttered and published on a YouTube channel titled National Economic Empowerment statements contained in a video which statements are likely to create alienation or despondency, raise discontent or disaffection and promote feelings of ill will or hostility among Banyarwanda, Bahima and Banyankole,” presiding Chief Magistrate Ritah Neumbe Kidasa read the charges on November 30, 2022.
Kabuleta returns to court
Kabuleta was remanded to Luzira Prison until Wednesday, December 14, 2022, when he is expected to return to the dock for mention of the case and hearing of his bail application.
Kidasa, on the fateful day, issued criminal summons for Kabuleta’s co-accused, Ayebare, who was not present in court, but has since disappeared without a trace, according to Onyango.
Kabuleta was arrested after failing to honour Police summons issued on November 3, 2022, for an interview and statement recording on charges of promoting sectarianism.
Calls to set Kabuleta free
Former ethics and integrity minister Miria Matembe appealed to the Government to drop charges brought against Kabuleta, saying he did not commit any offense since he talked about poor service delivery by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government.
“I personally tabled that document authored in Parliament and demanded the Legislature to debate about it, but former Speaker and the Vice-President Edward Ssekandi blocked debate on the same,” she said.
Matembe made the appeal with other elders under their umbrella organisation Hope Uganda while making a statement about the arrest of Kabuleta demanding for his unconditional release at Silver Springs Hotel in Bugolobi Kampala.
“The Government should release Kabuleta because sectarianism is natural just as selfishness is. Everyone knows that sectarianism in Uganda is real, but Kabuleta is serving a penalty because he opted to speak against it in public and angered the regime,” Matembe added.
She said the document’s contents shouldn’t be dismissed as fake news because it is something she and other senior leaders in the country have previously heard about.
Matembe said the best way to put such matters to rest would have been for the Speaker of Parliament, at that time, to allow MPs to comprehensively debate about it.
Former Rubaga North MP Wasswa Lule also appealed to the Government to release all political prisoners unconditionally, including Kabuleta.
“Museveni should release all political prisoners and embark on dialogue and reconciliation,” he said.