CMI ordered to release govt media centre staff

Obed Katureebe

What you need to know:

  • It is alleged that Mr Katureebe was arrested in connection with operating a parody Twitter account.

The Uganda Human Rights Commission has ordered the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) to immediately and unconditionally release a staff of the Uganda Media Centre who has been held in incommunicado for the last two months.

Mr Obed Katureebe was on May 2 picked up by security agents from his home and has never been seen ever since. Initially, the security said his arrest and eventual custody was for his “own security”.

“Whereas Obed Katureebe has been in your custody since May 2, 2022, and whereas the Commission is satisfied that the said person is being unlawfully detained and/or restricted, this is to direct you to cause the immediate release of the said Obed Katureebe from your custody, failure of which you may be liable for the contempt under Article 53(1) (d) of the Constitution,” the Commission’s directive stated in part.

A day after Mr Katureebe was arrested, his boss, Mr Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of Uganda Media Centre, in an interview indicated that the former had been picked up for “protection purposes’’.

Asked yesterday if Mr Katureebe has been under protection for the last two months, Mr Opondo said that is what he was made to believe.

“Well at the time, l believed their storyline was genuine. However, after more than 60 days now, I think they played fools on me, which is unfortunate and unacceptable. I have demanded each day that they bring this matter to an amicable conclusion consistent with Uganda’s laws,” Mr Ofwono said.

It is alleged that Mr Katureebe was arrested in connection with operating a parody Twitter account of Robert Patrick Fati Gakwerere (@RGakwerere), which was being used to attack Rwandan President Paul Kagame, an accusation he denied.