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Rukutana: I cannot kill Anite

Mwesigwa Rukutana

Mwesigwa Rukutana

On Monday, Evelyn Anite, the minister of state minister for Privatisation and Investment, took sharp aim at the government “mafia, the cabal, the cartel” and suggested they want to kill her.

Anite used Monday’s press conference to escalate a public high-stakes confrontation between her and other government officials opposed to what she calls her elaborate efforts to shield Uganda Telecom, UTL, from liquidation. The very public confrontation is quite unprecedented in the ruling NRM history.

For weeks and months, Anite has quarrelled with the Attorney General William Byaruhanga, his deputy Mwesigwa Rukutana and Gabriel Ajedra, the state minister of finance for general duties, over the management and control of the financially distressed UTL, which is under the administration of Twebaze Bemanya, the executive director of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau.

Her reference to the mafia on Monday introduced a new layer of criminal intent to the confrontation.

Interviewed for a comment to Anite’s outburst on Monday, Rukutana, the most outspoken of the youthful minister’s foes in the UTL saga, said; “If by advising her on legal matters you become murderers, mafia, cabal, cartel, crooks, so be it. I don’t have any hostility towards her; if I am among the murderers she is referring to, then…if it occurred to her that I could be a murderer, then we should take her to Butabika to get her head checked. Why would I murder a girl anyway? I know how to put girls to some other good use,” Rukutana said.

“She wants to go like a wounded buffalo just knocking on walls as if she was blind. Whoever you are, you must comply with the law. That is why even when the president said and wrote that “oh Anite, ensure that you constitute an audit,” we wrote and said that we shall implement the president’s directive but within the framework of the law because we are employed to advise the president on legal matters,” he said.

“We advised her that being a minister in government which is a shareholder, she had no mandate to order directly for an audit, we advised her that since we have parastatals, which are creditors to the company, ask them or go through them if they have grievances to get a court order to appoint an auditor or even remove the administrator. She did not want to hear that,” he said.

“Cabinet doesn’t see it [mafia claim] as an issue, you see it as an issue because she shouts, there is no crisis, the crisis is in her head, I don’t have any hostility toward her,” he added.

Obiga Kania

Interviewed yesterday, Mario Obiga Kania, the minister of state for Internal Affairs, said government is aware of Minister Anite’s death claims and is prepared to provide the necessary security.

“It is our duty to provide security to any citizen whose life is threatened and we shall do the same for Minister Evelyn Anite. However, I cannot publicly expose what kind of security we are giving her and our plans to protect her…” he said.

He roundly declined to comment on the mafia claims.

“I can only advise you to inquire from those alleging to tell you who the mafia are and how they operate. I cannot comment on something I have no idea about,” Obiga added.

Who are the mafia?

Since 2005, the word mafia has steadily gained currency and recognition in the country’s political realm. The influence, reach and power of the so-called mafia in government has climbed steadily.

The first mention of mafia in government was made 14 years ago by then troubled Vice President Prof Gilbert Baalibaseka Bukenya. In a May 2005 interview with Daily Monitor, Bukenya pointed to a clique of mafia in government that was baying for his blood.

Bukenya said the mafias were photographing his earthly possessions including pawpaw and orange plantations plus a host of other properties in a bid to compile evidence against him so the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) could open an investigation.

Then, he was two years into the number two job, the same number of years Anite has spent in the Investment and Privatisation docket. So, who are the mafia? The term mafia is given different definitions according to context and country.

But what is common among all definitions is their method of work and purpose for their existence - criminal enterprise. Wikipedia defines the mafia as: a type of organized crime syndicate whose primary activities are protection racketeering, arbitrating disputes between criminals, and brokering and enforcing illegal agreements and transactions. The mafia often seeks to infiltrate politics and extract public resources for private benefits.

This definition is consistent with some of the complaints made by ministers and those haunted by the mafia. Interviews with people rattled by the mafia paint a sizeable portrait of who the mafias are in government without naming names.

Interviewed yesterday, former vice president Prof Gilbert Bukenya tried to describe how the mafias operate. He said mafias are a group of people who use all the available means to maintain their status quo by targeting those being favoured by the sitting president.

“When the regime wants to groom new people to take over, the old who may not want to be sidelined develop some sort of mafia cartels to make sure they bring the ones being favoured down. I was once a victim and I know it is what Anite is going through because the old guard think she is being favoured by President Museveni,” he said.

Bukenya said some people in government don’t like the favours Anite enjoys from the president and will use all means including blackmail and even death to diminish her influence. During his vice presidency, Prof Bukenya once said the mafia in government wanted to finish him off by falsely accusing him of meeting Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala and mobilising Catholics across the country to build a power-base and overthrow President Museveni.

“When Anite comes out to say she is being targeted, it shouldn’t be taken lightly because I personally experienced it as that group of the few who think they should always be favoured worked to ensure that they undercut me,” he said.

In May 2019, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga told the 9th Commonwealth Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa in Kigo, Wakiso district that mafia in government work in cahoots with dodgy officials with glaring impunity. She said such a cabal hinders anti-graft fight and criticised anti-corruption bodies in the country for procrastination.

Explaining how mafia works, Kadaga reportedly said that some government officials had turned government services into a hunting ground for personal enrichment and that one of parliament’s oversight committees had investigated the abuse of public funds and discovered that a colossal amount of money earmarked for compensation of people along roads had not reached the intended recipients.

“The mafia, in cahoots with dodgy officials or like minds in the finance ministry and road construction chain, instead got this compensation money and put it on their bank deposit accounts for a whole two years,” Kadaga said.

In December, 2016, the then Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura told journalists that the mafia had infiltrated Uganda’s security and intelligence agencies and used their elaborative network to commit sophisticated crimes including fraud in financial institutions with the help of bank employees and security personnel.

“They have informers at banks that provide them with up-to-date information on clients with beefy cash on their accounts and the security circles shield them,” Kayihura said.

He added that the mafia have their people everywhere and they had even infiltrated the police and the military and they had even started targeting foreign investors who they lure into the country. Opposition Chief Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said the ruling government has a history of associating with the mafia and it’s not surprising that a minister is claiming she is under threat.

According to Ssemujju, the government should take Anite’s claims seriously and launch an investigation to establish the truth.

“There’s no way you will take a statement from a person in government saying there are mafias working to eliminate her lightly. It should be investigated until the truth is revealed,” he said.

UTL

On Monday, Anite said; “The mafias, the cabal, the cartel that is used to intimidating; robbing this country are yet again plotting a move to kill me.”

She didn’t name names but mentioned the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) offices and Kampala Club as meeting points for the alleged mafias. URSB is headed by Bemanya Twebaze who is also the administrator of UTL in receivership.

Anite has spent a good deal of time this year trying to push Bemanya out of UTL. Asked whether Bemanya is one of the mafias, Anite declined to give a straight answer to The Observer on August 19.

In a June 28 letter to the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, Anite referred to Bemanya as a ‘crooked lawyer.’

Bemanya did not respond to our repeated calls and text messages on Monday and Tuesday.

IGG INQUEST

At the press conference, Anite told journalists that the mafia have been trailing her and tapping her phone. Her claims seem to point to contents of a whistleblower’s petition to the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja, accusing the youthful minister of influence peddling, abuse of office and fraud in relation to the management of UTL. 

The contents of the petition show that the whistleblower took time to monitor Anite’s dealings including travels within and outside the country.

For instance, the petitioner alleges that after Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda cleared her to take a month’s leave from office and travel to the USA to attend her graduation at Tufts University, she continued transacting official duties specifically on matters related to UTL.

“After her graduation and commencement of her short study at Harvard, a secret booking was made for her from the USA via France to Mauritius, suspiciously leaving her husband in the USA. The said trip was not booked in Uganda before her departure for USA,” the whistleblower wrote.

She allegedly left the USA on August 4 went to France for a connecting flight to Mauritius where she stayed for four days. After her meetings in Mauritius, the whistleblower alleges, she flew back to the USA and later to Uganda to “disguise the trip to Mauritius.”

See full whistle-blower’s

 

SADAB KITATA KAAYA, JOSEPHINE NAMULOKI, JOSEPH BAHINGWIRE & ERNEST JINGO contributed to this report

Comments

0 #21 Lakwena 2019-08-22 15:39
In other words e.g., what can stop Eskom/Umeme from sabotaging our industries, by making the electricity tariff impossible?

And how sure are we that the Libyans were eavesdropping strategic government communication?

It is a First Class stupidity, or Uganda has been annexed and under a classified foreign domination.

Can somebody wake me up from my day and nightmares?
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0 #22 Paul Goldberg 2019-08-22 17:47
Leave Rukutana alone, the man knows where he comes from.

Isn't that the way things work in Uganda now days. If you come from the right part of Uganda you can do anything including making people disappear and nothing will happen or if you are a general you can always say you are the one who fought for freedom and nobody should tell you anything.

Why are you guys pretending that you do not know what is happening-Let us be real and know where we belong.
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0 #23 Francis Okello 2019-08-22 18:26
Quoting Eddy G:
Rukutana's arrogance is just unbelievable.

How can you use a phrase like "I know how to put girls to some other good use" when referring to a whole minister? Who does he think he's? Some god?


I haven't gotten over this yet! In a nutshell, he presents women as tools for his use.

Did he think about his mother when making such a statement? Does he have daughters? For a learned person that he is, this is not acceptable.

How should the appointing authority feel when his appointees are considered "girls?" I assume that to be a minister, one has to be a mature individual.

As a legal brain, he should have countered Anita's issues with legalistic concerns, and since he considers her a girl, then I'd have expected him to be parental in his language.
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0 #24 GoodMan Lord 2019-08-23 03:59
The comment; He knows "how to put girls on some other good use", may mean a lot if you go into details about it from a learned man like Rukutana.

Watch the phrase carefully! Does he mean what is been going on killing women around?

So he knows how to put girls on some other good use by removing their internal organs and sell them to the Pakistan Man?

Don't forget about Tamale Mirundi's MISO organization investigating one of the ministers dealing in internal organs of our people in hospitals. organs are removed from people with accidents or those being killed by hired hitmen.

Rukutana's phrase may be related to what is going on in hospitals. He's one of the untouchables.
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0 #25 Wooden K. 2019-08-23 12:38
Greetings to you GoodMan Lord !
you almost made a good man`s Point but spoiled it by refering to Tamale Miruindi.

Tamale Mirindi only dupes stupid people . He lies and makes up stories . His MISO crap is Fake News.

That Pakistan man`s voice is fake.

Even if Uganda has gone to the dogs , if it was true that there are Hospitals selling body parts , hell would break loose. This would make international headlines.

True , body organs get removed from some gilrls in Arabic counties . but in in Uganda sa Mirundi claims to have found out.


Anybody with brain knows that a body organ cannot be preserved for a long time before it is trnsplanted into another human
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-2 #26 Mubiru 2019-08-23 15:49
Unless the mafias, including those openly despising Justice Bagemereire in her court by spewing out poisonous bile, are becoming too powerful to be sorted out by Museveni, I see no reason why Anite would not use her weapon which put her on the political map of Uganda since very few had ever heard of the woman.

Anite just kneel before Museveni and beg him as you did before to restrain your "potential killers" instead of using the media whose job never included apprehend murderers.

You profited tremendously through your weapon and this is your life which is above all every thing you have been given by Museveni.
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+2 #27 Lysol 2019-08-23 22:08
That Rukutana dude sounds biter, like he tried but failed You guys will destroy yourself because of greeds.

They say you reap what you show. Karma! All of your corrupt/dishonest system will one day disappear. a
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0 #28 karemere 2019-08-24 01:29
Quoting Francis Okello:
Quoting Eddy G:
Rukutana's arrogance is just unbelievable.

How can you use a phrase like "I know how to put girls to some other good use" when referring to a whole minister? Who does he think he's? Some god?
I agree. However, Anite looked for and deserved the treatment that she got from Rukutana, didn't she?.

I haven't gotten over this yet! In a nutshell, he presents women as tools for his use.

Did he think about his mother when making such a statement? Does he have daughters? For a learned person that he is, this is not acceptable.

How should the appointing authority feel when his appointees are considered "girls?" I assume that to be a minister, one has to be a mature individual.

As a legal brain, he should have countered Anita's issues with legalistic concerns, and since he considers her a girl, then I'd have expected him to be parental in his language.
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0 #29 naboma 2019-08-24 13:45
I put it to you Anite that you are our number one mafia.

The definition of mafia is written all over your schemes at kayankwanzi. I am wondering why people all of a sudden have mercy for anite, the chief political mafia who has mafialised our politics.

She was responsible for sole candidature, endless term limmits and never stops assuring us of her protection from majye.

She is a thief serving a thieving government. Rukutana must therefore be surpised at one of their own coming in public to spew her nonsense after participating in making what she calls a mafia government.

If i were museveni, I would immediately relieve her of her duties and haund her out of the NRM. Here is a true crook spewing her useless claims to fighting corruption when she has survived or it to be where she is now. And gullible ugandans are here criticising rukutana, who is as guilty and anite of mafialising uganda.
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0 #30 WADADA roger 2019-08-24 17:57
The Mafia uses the law to arm-twist others while they do not obey or practice anything that the law says.
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