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EXCLUSIVE: Museveni Orders Vetting of New ISO Chief

By Chimp Investigations Team

President Museveni has directed his closest security aides to start the vetting of potential candidates to replace the Director General of Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Col Frank Bagyenda Kaka.

The President blames Col Kaka for the failure to provide able leadership to the critical security organisation and allowing its infiltration by criminals.

The head-of-state also blames Kaka for falling short in detecting hundreds of fabricated intelligence reports that have ended up on his desk at State House Entebbe.

Museveni further blames Kaka for not doing enough to reign in on thugs in ISO who are involved in acts of extortion and human rights abuses.

“The vetting of the new ISO chief is already underway,” said a reliable military source who preferred anonymity to speak freely.

“Kaka has been misled on very high profile cases, a situation the president believes should be corrected as soon as possible. While Kaka may mean well for the country, the president is dissatisfied with his performance.”

Kaka was appointed ISO boss in January 2017, heading Uganda government’s counter intelligence agency which is responsible for providing national security intelligence to Uganda’s policy makers.

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Kaka participated in the NRA liberation war where he carried out covert operations and was instrumental in the capture of Masindi Army Barracks by the NRA on 20 February 1984.

He retired at the rank of Major in 1993 before retreating to Kalangala Island to run a hotel.

His appointment three years ago took many by surprise.

But at the time, Museveni and his brother Gen Salim Saleh, reportedly wanted NRA cadres to take up top appointments in security services.

They were disgusted by the level of corruption and laziness in the armed services especially among get-rich-quick young officers, leading to massive infiltration by foreign enemies.

Two years later, Kaka’s performance has left a lot to be desired, according to close associates of the president.

Leak

In a leaked resignation letter, the Chief Technical Officer of ISO’s Cyber Unit, Alfred Idusso sheds more light on the rot at the intelligence organisation.

Idusso gives the example of his colleague Simon Odongo, who was recently arrested by the military, as the king of forgery at ISO.

“I have reiterated both to you and to my fellow workers Sharma Pike as well as Ivan Bwende, our team leader and admin, about how our team mate Simon Peter Odongo has been on a consistent streak of evidence forging, tampering and creation to fit particular narratives that he is trying to “SELL to you,” because it is all about “selling to Kaka” for him, but absolutely nothing happened to this person,” says Idusso in his resignation letter.

“I echo the sentiments of my teammates and may other operatives in this organization when I state that we are demoralized about having to work with this particular operative and the creative license he has, to design his own stories and have you and the nation pay for them,” added Idusso.

“There are innumerable reports we’ve investigated that end up with Simon Peter Odongo having forged the evidence, but each time, they come to naught. Interestingly enough, Mr. Odongo comes to know the content of our reports and calls us to threaten us.”

Kayihura tapes

Idusso cited a fabricated audio tape used by ISO to frame former IGP Gen Kale Kayihura in the murder of ex AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

“This tape was created in that lab, and what is worse is that Mr. Odongo didn’t pay those boys. He told them that you (Kaka) commissioned that job and now they’re looking for ‘DG ISO” for their payment,” said Idusso in the leaked dossier.

“I have brought this issue to your attention several times and you dismiss it but I would think the prudent thing to do would be to at least check out my claims or if you don’t believe me, go to that house and ask for Solomon, he will give you much more detail about more jobs that they have done for “DG ISO” at the request of Mr. Odongo,’” said Idusso.

This is the first time an insider is openly speaking out about the forgeries perpetrated by ISO staff to frame high ranking government officials, businessmen and senior security officials.

In 2018, Odongo claimed having hacked the operations of Thuraya, a UAE-based leading mobile satellite communications company, to obtain the recording of Gen Kayihura’s conversation with former Police Flying Squad boss Herbert Muhangi about the assassination of Kaweesi.

Kayihura at the military court in Makindye during his trial in 2018

Odongo told the police-led security team investigating Kaweesi’s killing that Muhangi received a call via a satellite phone and facilitated a conference call whereby the caller, he and Kayihura could converse about the murder.

Odongo said he had a window of “66 seconds” to obtain details of the entire 5-minute conversation during his hacking mission.

The ISO operative said he was only able to obtain “7 seconds” of the discussion which were pinning Kayihura and Muhangi in the murder.

Odongo’s audio claims Kayihura told Muhangi that “thank you” after the murder of Kaweesi.

In the “7 seconds”, Odongo said he was “lucky” to get the part that would incriminate Kayihura and Muhangi in Kaweesi’s murder.

But Odongo’s allegation that Kayihura and Muhangi had a conversation on a satellite phone collapsed after it emerged that telephone printouts of both officers didn’t show any recorded conversation.

Odongo had alleged that the satellite phone which was used to call Muhangi was in Kulambiro yet satellite phones don’t use masts as is the case with local handsets. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact location of the caller.

Independent technical information obtained from telecom providers showed Muhangi was not even at the scene of crime but Kireka from where he was receiving and making calls.

The printout of Kayihura’s telephone conversations showed that he never received calls on his Africell number from Muhangi as alleged by Odongo.

But the ISO operative claimed the call data was deleted from MTN servers.

Still, the joint investigation report observed, if Muhangi called Kayihura, the ex IGP’s Africell phone printout should have recorded that call which was not the case.

Odongo went further to allege that Kayihura, Muhangi and Kaweesi’s wife, were part of the plot.

Ex Flying Squad Commander Herbert Muhangi was among those charged at Makindye General Court Martial

But the printouts betrayed Odongo as there was no evidence to prove that Ms Kaweesi received a call from Muhangi.

Odongo is said to have used an excel sheet and modern software to create his own telephone printouts and audio tape to frame Gen Kayihura and Muhangi who were jailed at Makindye barracks.

It’s understood Museveni has never forgiven Kaka for this forgery which led to Kayihura’s arrest and imprisonment.

Muhakanizi Case

In early 2017, President Museveni called a special meeting of ISO officials to discuss their report that $38m had been stolen from the treasury by Treasury Secretary Keith Muhakanizi and Jim Muhwezi before being wired to banks in Malaysia.

The meeting chaired by president Museveni at State House Entebbe was attended by Idusso, Odongo, Kaka and Ivan Bwende.

Odongo told Museveni that through hacking, he had established that the $38m was secretly wired to Malaysia and could retrieve it at a time of their convenience.

Museveni listened attentively before ordering Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile to investigate the matter.

Treasury Secretary Keith Muhakanizi was also framed by ISO operatives

“When Odongo described the technical process through which he did the hack, he fumbled and told movie things, lies just, but to be sure, the president engaged BoU, Finance Ministry and also ISO’s cyber unit,” said a source.

International finance consultants and even hackers checked out every link in Odongo’s bank statement only to prove a forgery. That’s how Muhakanizi and Muhwezi survived possible arrest.

Equity Bank

In another instance, Odongo reportedly framed a one Francis Mashate as the financier of people who were hacking $48m from Equity Bank.

Mashate had privately hired Odongo to hack his wife’s phone which the ISO official was unable to execute.

When mashate demanded his money back, Odongo arrested him and a Kenyan lady known as Hanan, saying the two were thieves.

Death of Turyatunga

In the leaked dossier, Idusso also talked about the suspicious death of Bright Turyatunga in a foiled bullion van robbery at Kyambogo in Kampala.

“One day before the demise of Bright Turyatunga, Mr. Odongo threatened his life by saying that you were going to kill him for “stealing the drone.” Shaken, Bright called myself and Sharma and a few others and told them that, sure enough, the next day he was dead. Mr. Odongo sent messages to people like Ampumuza and Sharma and told them that Bright was sent into a trap,” said Idusso.

URA’s Akol

A source told this investigative website that some ISO operatives could have played a key role in the firing of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) chief Doris Akol.

Before Akol’s sacking earlier this year, Museveni was handed WhatsApp audio recordings of the then URA boss soliciting bribes from businessmen in Uganda.

Ex URA Commissioner General Doris

The audios were reportedly fabricated as it was in Kayihura’s case.

MTN Tax evasion case

In 2018, ISO raided MTN Uganda’s data centre in Mutundwe, Wakiso District, to investigate reports that the telecom had evaded taxes worth billions of dollars.

At the time, ISO operatives claimed tracing every single transaction right from the Business and Technology Solutions (BTS) level, the towers, through Tech Mahindra, Huawei and then made summations.

Kaka authorised ISO to raid the MTN Data centre to retrieve data to compare with their summations of the telecom’s earnings and tax declarations.

Asked what they discovered, a source revealed: “We were even on the lower scale but almost spot on.”

The MTN has maintained that it’s prudent in its tax declarations and has since asked ISO or any other agency to provide proof of tax evasion.

In multiple statements, MTN Uganda reaffirmed its willingness to cooperate with authorities, saying, the telecom has never failed to comply with government agencies whenever asked for certain information.

But ISO operatives said they mirrored their reporting servers, the ones that report to the Chief Finance Officer known as “the CFO dashboard.”

The CFO receives up to the minute technical sales and revenue reports.

ISO operatives said they found MTN’s suspicious technical calculations on what to declare to URA.

“We found that they make 8 times more than what they declare, we found out how they dance around URA,” said the source.

But a URA official said they had received several reports on tax evasion from ISO but have come short on evidence, making it difficult to pursue cases against businesses.

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