Government Tuesday said Turkey-based Ugandan vlogger and vocal regime critic, Fred Kajubi aka Lumbuye is “alive and will be presented to the court at the right time”- following reports of his arrest in Ankara early this month.
"People shouldn't be worried about him. The relevant authorities will at the right time bring him before courts of law. People should be busy looking for survival, not asking about Lumbuye," Foreign Affairs State Minister Henry Okello Oryem told NTV Uganda in an interview.
Famed through launching scathing online attacks on especially political and popular figures, Lumbuye now faces up to 15 charges, including spreading harmful propaganda, incitement of violence using improvised explosive devices, and offensive communication.
“Once he is handed over to the police, we shall process the 15 case files that were opened against him,” Police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga told journalists on August 9 during a weekly security press briefing in Uganda’s capital Kampala.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Francis Abodo last week sanctioned the criminal charges against Mr Lumbuye whose whereabouts remain a mystery.
However, fast-spreading local media reports indicate that Lumbuye was deported on an unspecified date with President Museveni on August 14 stating: “Deporting foreigners without trial should be stopped.”
“Those foreigners should be handled legally. Keeping people in jail for long is not allowed. Jails are not storehouses for people,” he added.
Mr Lumbuye’s arrest has successively brewed a domestic strain on the government to have him presented publicly.
“As far as I know, his human rights have been respected. I don’t think he should be made an important matter,” Mr Oryem said Tuesday.
Mr Lumbuye was arrested by authorities in Turkey for unclear offences.
The government has recently upped efforts towards suppressing potential fake news, misinformation, and misuse of microblogging platforms like Facebook and Twitter that escalated during the Covid-19 era.