Security Minister Muruli Mukasa has described as “totally untrue”, reports that he is investigating his presidency counterpart, p Frank Tumwebaze over reports that Shs10bn was found on his fixed deposit account in Crane Bank.
“Members of the public, staff, and all clients of the presidency are therefore encouraged to ignore reports that Hon Tumwebaze is being investigated by the Security Ministry over any case,” said Muruli in a statement issued Thursday.
“These allegations are totally untrue and should be treated with the contempt they deserve,” he emphasised.
Early this week, several people started a rumour on social media that Tumwebaze had been sent on forced leave after falling short of explaining to President Museveni at a meeting in Rwakitura on December 31, the source of “Shs 10bn” allegedly found on his account.
The reports further indicated that Muruli was appointed to take charge of the presidency in the meantime.
Tumwebaze’s absence at key events including the NRM Victory Day celebrations in Soroti further fuelled the speculation of being kicked out of office.
Supporters of impeached Mayor Erias Lukwago and former Premier Amama Mbabazi had already started celebrating the “downfall” of Tumwebaze whom they accuse of playing a pivotal role in their political “defeat.”
In his statement today, Muruli explained that Tumwebaze “is currently on his annual leave in his constituency in Kamwenge district,” adding, “We would like to affirm that the Hon Prime Minister cleared Hon Tumwebaze’s leave on 19th December until February 2.”
Muruli said, “It’s always normal that when a minister is out of office either for the purpose of taking his/her leave or for executing any other duty out of station, another colleague steps in and holds the portfolio. That is how I am currently holding the portfolio for the minister in the charge of the presidency and Kampala.”
He said Tumwebaze will “resume his routine docket work when his leave period ends.”
The Minister also warned “hate groups abusing the unregulated social media platforms which churn out extreme hate content against the person of the president, his family and people working closely with him,” adding, “The increasing trend of misuse and outright abuse of these platforms is of serious concern to government. Whoever misuses them should be warned that the long arm of the law will catch up with them.”
Muruli said government has guaranteed freedoms of speech to the citizenry and invested heavily in the entire enabling physical and technological infrastructure like Internet connectivity and its associated communication plat forms so as to ensure their accessibility to all.
Observers say social media is increasingly becoming a platform for political battles in Uganda as growth of internet access deepens.
Tumwebaze today said no weapon formed against him shall prosper.