Foreign Affairs state minister, Mr Okello Oryem Wednesday said Turkey-based Ugandan blogger and government critic Fred Lumbuye was not above the law following reports that he had been arrested.
According to reports from the Ugandan Community in Istanbul- Turkey, Mr Lumbuye was arrested by unknown people.
Officials at the Foreign affairs ministry said this morning that the Uganda Embassy in Ankara is yet to receive official communication from the relevant law enforcement institutions of Turkey in regard to Lumbuye’s case.
However, while addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on Wednesday Mr Oryem said Mr Lumbuye was not a special person and should not expect to be treated exceptionally if he broke the law.
“I heard that he has been arrested. And if he’s arrested because of a crime he committed, then he deserves to be arrested because of that crime. Anybody who commits a crime in any country whatsoever will pay the price for committing or breaking the law, including in Uganda. That person you’re talking about is not a special person. Who is he that he can be above the law irrespective of where he’s he is! The law is very clear in all countries; you break the law, you pay the penalty. So if he broke the law then he will pay the price,” Mr Oryem said said.
“And I would have thought that every single one of you would be celebrating that this person committed a crime and he’s been arrested and being brought before the court of law but now it seems you’re sympathizing with him,” he added.
Lumbuye's colleagues alleged that he was arrested by the Ugandan embassy in Turkey as he tried to renew his passport.
Police and government officials have in the past accused Lumbuye and other bloggers of misusing social media.
His arrest comes just a month after President Museveni on July 8, directed security operatives to track down Ugandans who allegedly use social media to spread false news.
‘‘Apparently, social media has been saying that Museveni is dead. They (Security service) should locate very quickly- the one who tells such a story. Security service should solve that problem. I need to check with them (security service) so that we go for you. If you’re in Europe, we denounce you and say go to hell because you are wasting people’s time,’’ Mr Museveni said after a section of social media users and bloggers announced him dead.