KAMPALA, UGANDA: Moses Kibalama Nkonge, the former owner and president of the party which was later handed over his party to Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and later turned against him, has now sued government over forcing him to make false claims against the National Unity Platform (NUP) president during the hearing of the petition over legal ownership of the party.
Mr Kibalama in his petition accuses the government of detaining him incommunicado [solitary confinement] and abusing his rights. He wants government to compensate him over abuses against him.
In his suit filed in the High Court on January 19, 2021, Mr Kibalama accuses the State of coaching him and his colleague, Mr Paul Ssimbwa Kagombe, to tell lies in court against Bobi Wine during the hearing of the petition challenging the latter’s ownership of the party.
Mr Kibalama shot to the limelight last year after he handed over of his National Unity Reconciliation and Development Party (NURP) to Mr Kyagulanyi.
He later petitioned court saying Mr Kyagulanyi had acquired the party illegally. He lost the petition and was ordered to pay Kyagulanyi costs of the suit.
Mr Kibalama in his petition filed on January 19, narrates that he was on August 10, 2020 called for a meeting at College Inn in Wandegeya to discuss issues regarding the court petition in which he was challenging Mr Kyagulanyi’s takeover of his party.
He says he requested Mr Ssimbwa to join him at the meeting. He adds that the meeting was postponed to August 13, 2020 at Hotel Sojovaro in Rubaga Division.
“… met James Byamukama and Busingye Prosper with their armed escorts. We advised them to seek an adjournment in court so that we could reach an amicable solution [with Kyagulanyi], but they declined and insisted that the President had instructed them to get Ssimbwa and I so as to work with them on the court case,” Mr Kibalama narrates.
He adds: “We were informed that two senior government officials would also meet us to reaffirm the position of the government in this matter. We were later called into another room in Hotel Sojovaro where we met Kaka Francis Bagyenda, the then director of Internal Security Organisation.
Kaka told us that the State had picked interest in us for purposes of winning the court case and that we were to cooperate and give them information that they needed or they would get it in any other manner including detaining us wrongly.”
Mr Byamukama was a lawyer representing one of the petitioners in court Mr Basile Difasi, while Mr Busingye was a handler for the other petitioners in court case.
Further in his suit, Mr Kibalama avers that Kaka assured them that he would take them to meet the President who had commissioned him to work on the court petition.
He says along the way, Mr Byamukama, who had left them with Mr Kaka, returned with documents which he gave them to sign to confirm what they had filed in court.
“We refused to sign these new documents because there were in contradiction of the documents that we had earlier signed with our lawyers. I asked Byamukama to change some of the content, which he said he would not,” Kibalama states in his current suit.
Kibalama says they were taken to a solitary house in Kungu in Kira Municipality for a week without food.
“On September 25, 2020, we were picked from Kungu by Kiyimba Nasser and driven to the High Court, Civil Division, before Justice Musa Ssekaana, but all that we said in court was information that we were forced and coached to give,” Kibalama states in the current suit against government.
“Prior to giving testimony, we were under duress as our lives and those of our friends and families had been threatened by our captors. While in Kungu, we were taken in the middle of the night to unknown location and forced to record a video, using words that we were told to say forcefully,” Mr Kibalama adds.
During cross-examination in court in September last year, Mr Kibalama claimed to have met the Chief of Defence Forces (Gen David Muhoozi) during his captivity.
Through their lawyers Kwesigabo, Bamwine & Walubiri Advocates, Mr Kibalama and his counterpart say actions of the State were high-handed as they underwent maltreatment, tortured in many aspects and lost business projects in the process.
They also want court to declare that their rights and freedoms were not respected, restricted and detained in various hotels and in a private residence which are not an authorised police station or prison, their next of kin were not informed of their whereabouts and that they were abducted and forced to sign papers which were in contradiction to those that they had earlier filed.
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