KAMPALA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) has held Sheikh Ahmed Musa Ssebuufu, a Ugandan cleric based in Mozambique incommunicado since November 21, 2021.
According to security sources, CMI intercepted Ssebuufu at the Uganda-Tanzania Mutukula border while exiting Uganda. He was arrested on allegations of espionage and terrorism and driven back to CMI headquarters in Mbuya.
He was arrested with two youths who were later released on police bond. However, the youths whose identities have been withheld by security keep reporting to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka for the extension of their bond.
Although the acting Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) spokesperson, Lt. Col. Ronald Kakurungu, has denied knowledge of Ssebuufu’s arrest, security sources say he has been undergoing treatment for the injuries inflicted on him by security during interrogation.
“What I know is that he was arrested based on intelligence and he was detained at Mbuya for some days but later transferred to SIU. The boys he was arrested with were released on bond after they proved that they were not aware of his alleged crimes,” a source said.
According to security sources, Ssebuufu has been living in Mozambique for quite a long time. Mozambique, South Africa, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are some of the countries the government and security agencies have been citing as training grounds for ADF-linked groups.
Human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Turyamusiima told URN that Ssebuufu is one of the suspects on his list who have never appeared before the court ever since they were arrested. On November 20, 2020, while addressing the nation following the Kampala city twin bombings, President Yoweri Museveni said security had picked up 106 suspects linked to terror activities.
However, only 47 have since been charged in various courts while the whereabouts of 59 others has remained a mystery. The other suspects detained without trial include; Abdulaham Waibi, Sanyu Nakitende, Aisha Katushabe, Kiyemna Isma, Ssegujja, Muwonge Yusuf, Kahindo Edith, Munubi Shakira, Musa Abdallah Ayebare, Ainembabazi Mariam, Thad Seluwu, Fahad Seluwu, Taata Kasozi and Iga Abdu Malik.
Asked a few days ago to explain the whereabouts of the other suspects, CID spokesperson, Charles Twiine said “If the fish comes from under the water and it tells you a crocodile has one eye, who are you to refuse?” Twine asked rhetorically in reference to the numbers presented by the president.
Adding that “Of course, there are some people who get bond, there are some people who get bail. That shouldn’t take much of your time. Are you saying that they are not anywhere to be seen? Are you saying there is the disappearance of so many people? We can always meet and compare notes. But we have accountability for all our actions, there is no cause for alarm.”
Security operations against terror and rebel-linked groups started in June following the attempted assassination of former Chief of Defence Forces Gen Edward Katumba Wamala. His daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Sgt Haruna Kayondo didn’t survive the attack on the minister’s motorcade. The Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce (JATT) widened its investigations and crackdown on ADF because of the city bomb explosions.
Siraje Kifampa, the spokesperson of Nakasero mosque, said that they often get information about Muslims who have been arrested and detained by security agencies but do not appear in the courts of law. He noted that many Muslim youths both females and males including adults are in detention without trial.
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