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Police probe death threats sent to MPs Derrick Nyeko, Joyce Bagala

Uganda Police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed the report on Monday (Photo/File)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police have launched investigations into the anonymous letters addressed to Members of Parliament by a group identifying themselves as ‘disgruntled officers’ threatening to kill them if they don’t heed their requests including asking for money from them.

The group under their alleged body of Association of Tired Officers in Uniforms – Uganda (ATOU) which claims to be comprised of both army and police officers in their threats to the lawmakers have issued the options to either handle their matters such as improving their working environment, and health care and increasing their pay.

First on the list is Makindye East Member of Parliament, Hon Derrick Nyeko (NUP) who revealed over the weekend that he had received a random letter via WhatsApp message from an unknown person asking him to pay shs10 million or be killed.

“I have just received a threat like random on my whatsapp from +971567751087 purporting to be the Association of Tired Officers in Uniform asking shs10million to spare my life,” Nyeko who doubles as the shadow minister for presidency and security said in a social media post on Saturday.

In the letter sent to him, the sender who did not identify himself by name but rather as acting president of the association gave the MP options to either pay the ten million and pledge to push their issues, or face the wrath of four bullets they have budgeted for him.

“We have budgeted only four bullets for you but you can let us spare them for another person if you pay shs10 million and pledge that you will push for our issues soon,” the anonymous letter read in part.

Now in a related development, Police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga today revealed that the so-called association also wrote to the Mityana Woman MP Joyce Bagala (NUP) threatening to end her life if she fails to pay Shs10m within three days from Saturday, May 20, 2023.

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Mr Enanga added that they are yet to ascertain the authenticity of the claims made in the anonymous letter but said security agencies have taken up the matter for critical investigations.

“Although at this stage we cannot confirm the authenticity of the anonymous letters, as joint security agencies, we take matters of threat to life seriously and as a priority. We are still gathering information on the scope of the anonymous threats. We are going to use all means to counter activities that threaten the life of our lawmakers.” Mr Enanga said while addressing journalists at Police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala on Monday.

The police spokesperson added that security is going to take threat reduction measures before advising legislators to stay vigilant and take precautionary measures like breaking away from usual movement routines, but stay focused on their work as they [police] working to bring the perpetrators to book.

“We want to remind lawmakers to take precautions, change their daily routines and be more security conscious but at the same time stay focused on their work.”

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Enanga however warned the alleged disgruntled officers who could be behind the threats that it is an offence to threaten anyone.

“We would also like to warn any disgruntled officers, who could be behind the anonymous threats, that it is an offence to threaten lawmakers. Whoever will be arrested will be charged with threatening to kill a lawmaker.”

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