On a Saturday evening of March 31, as Owekitibwa, or Mr. Matia Wakalali, a state minister for agriculture in Busoga Kingdom engrossed himself in prayer at a church in Namulesa village, Mafubira sub-county, Butembe County, Jinja district – he received a phone call.
On picking it, a voice emerged from the earpiece, and it was his “best friend”, calling him to urgently come out of the church. (Name was withheld.)
As he left church, he was welcomed by two people whom he would later discover were security agents.
According to Busoga Kingdom Katukiro, or Prime Minister Joseph Muvawala, who was Tuesday speaking to media, Mr. Wakali was driven away by the duo in a Toyota Noah registration number UAK 021A at around 8pm.
At church, the kingdom official had taken his child to be baptized.
Prime Minister Muvawala said the agents who picked the minister were one policeman (not yet identified) from Mafubira sub-county and another, a corporal called Charles Mengeni from Buwenge town council in Jinja district.
On Tuesday (April 3), Muwavala finally managed to pursue the process of releasing Wakalali from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) headquarters in Mbuya, where he had been detained.
(Kingdom officials relied on the number plate of the car to trace the minister.)
However, the prime minister condemned the process in which his colleague was taken under custody, saying that no kingdom official in the district was informed about Wakalali’s arrest on that day.
The minister was found in good physical state, but the prime minister said he was “mentally tortured because he was blindfolded for two days.”
Muvawala said the perpetrators of the kidnap must be individuals who do not “love Busoga kingdom and are after personal interests. (He did not mention which interests.)”
Documents which were signed at CMI, according to Mr. Joseph Muvawala, indicate that the minister was charged with “abetting and aiding terrorism.”
But, Muvawala says, “It is not true because as the kingdom, we cannot employ people who are terrorists.”
Mr. Matia Wakalali will report back to CMI on April 9.
Army speaks out
When ChimpReports contacted UPDF Spokesman Brig. Richard Karemire for comment on Wednesday morning, he said he did not know about the reported events.
“I don’t know about the kidnap,” he said, after a minutes of conversation in which he asked about the whereabouts of the minister.
Wakalali on Tuesday appeared for the press conference but he was asked by the Prime Minister not to talk to media.