National

Army stuck with detained top spy

Share Bookmark Print Rating
By TABU BUTAGIRA

Posted  Wednesday, March 5  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Complex. Maj Muramagi was arrested last week, but hasn’t been produced in court. Security search report says “nothing of evidential value recovered”

SHARE THIS STORY

Kampala.

The army was by yesterday still holding Maj Herbert Muramagi, the Internal Security Organisation director for Marines, four days after arresting him.
A combined team of military Intelligence officers and police detectives picked up the director last Friday but found “nothing of evidential value” during searches at his home in Kiwatule, a Kampala suburb, and two offices in the city centre.

Time in detention
He has been in detention at the Senior Officers’ Mess at Makindye Military Barracks, he has not been arraigned in court; and there is no word on what charges he is being held on. The Constitution requires that a suspect be produced in court within 48 hours upon arrest, and officials were reluctant yesterday to discuss details of the Major’s case.
“I am still waiting to know the preferred charges [against him],” deputy military spokesperson Robert Ngabirano said.
Brig Ronnie Balya, the ISO director-general to whom Muramagi reports, did not answer or return repeated telephone calls or text messages from this newspaper.

Copies of field reports from the three separate searches on February 28, two of them at the director’s offices at ISO headquarters in Nakasero and the neighbouring Kampala Serena Hotel, the team, including Detective Superintendent of Police Patrick Wacha, reported that: “Nil; nothing of evidential value recovered”, according to sources
Other members of the search team included Lt Col Caesar Bahwezi, Capt David Agaba, Detective Sgt Nathan Namuhiyi, Lt Joseph Rutaro and Juliet Awino. Maj Muramagi witnessed the operations before his arrest and subsequent incarceration.

He is being investigated under general inquiry file number SID GEF 64/2014.
Earlier reports we could not independently verify suggested the spymaster was helping with investigations into the alleged irregular acquisition of 1,200 acres of land in oil basin area of Buliisa in mid-western Uganda.
A senior security official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the impugned land acquisition is an old case that was likely invoked as an excuse to arrest Muramagi for another “supposed crime”.

The director’s close relations with some top political figures could have unsettled authorities, the source said. Other sources also cite office politics that have characterised the spy body from old days.
Visits to him are restricted, with only family members occasionally allowed access.

what law says
The Constitution requires that a suspect be produced in court within 48 hours upon arrest, and officials were reluctant yesterday to discuss details of the Major’s case.

tbutagira@ug.nationmedia.com