Dr. Kiyingi—surgical strike at the polls against dictator?
Says Museveni Ship About To “Capsize”
A celebrated Ugandan heart surgeon based in Australia has denied he has ever received any court summons to appear in a Ugandan court to answer treason and murder charges and accuses the country’s dictator of fabrication for fear that he plans to run against him for president.
In a joint exclusive phone interview with The Black Star News (BSN) and The London Evening Post (The LEP), Dr. Aggrey Kiyingi who early this year declared his intention to challenge President Yoweri Museveni when the country goes to the polls next year, said all he is aware of at the moment is what he described as “baseless allegations made in Ugandan newspapers” about his alleged criminal role in various killings in Uganda.
He says he’s not intimidated by the Ugandan dictator who would have clocked 30 years in office by the time he runs again next year.
By comparison, Mobutu, dictator of what was then Zaire held power for 32 years and Gen. Hosni Mubarak lorded over Egypt for 30 years. Both were driven from office, the former after an insurgency and the latter in a popular uprising that also clipped his ambitious son’s wings.
I have never received any court summon and all I see are newspaper articles and reports, Dr. Kiyingi said, adding, I have never been officially contacted by any court of law or the Ugandan government for that matter.
The cardiologist who has duo Ugandan and Australian citizenship said: This is typical of dictator Musevenis modus operandi; to intimidate opponents with smear campaigns and fabricate criminal charges in order to stop them altogether from standing against him.
He warned that the scare tactics being employed by President Museveni to stop his opponents from mounting a challenge against his presidency will not work this time with him. Museveni has played a double game for far too long. I have started and will continue to expose Museveni for what he really is. Rest assured that I know Musevenis tactics and I am not threatened or intimidated in anyway, Kiyingi said.
He has already won a big one against the Museveni regime.
The famous cardiologist has in the past clashed with Ugandan authorities after he was arrested and charged with the murder of his then wife Robinah Kiyingi, a successful attorney who was Chair of Transparency International, Uganda Branch, but was gunned down in July 2005 in Kampala while working on a forensic audit of missing funds from the Global Fund Money donated to Uganda for TB, AIDs and Malaria.
In an earlier interview with The LEP, Dr. Kiyingi claimed Ugandan authorities took advantage of problems in his marriage to Robinah to charge him with her murder. He was acquitted by the Uganda High Court, a major blow to the regime; he has since remarried.
On Thursday this week, a Nakawa Magistrates Court on the outskirts of Kampala, the capital, issued a “court summon” to Dr. Kiyingi calling upon him to appear before it to answer charges of terrorism and murder.
The Grade One Magistrate in charge of the proceedings, Mr. Timothy Lumunye ordered Dr. Kiyingi to appear before him to answer these charges and warned that his failure to appear would prompt the court to issue an arrest warrant for him. But as an Australian citizen, its unlikely that Sydney authorities would hand over Dr. Kiyingi the Ugandan authorities.
Five people who appeared before Mr. Lumunye at Nakawa Magistrates Court and who were charged alongside Dr. Kiyingi on counts of murder, terrorism, crimes against humanity and attempted murder, were remanded in custody.
The names of the five were given as Abdullatif Tusiime, Assad Semogerere, Rajab Mubajje, Isa Matanda and Solomon Kibirige. They are said to belong to what Ugandan authorities call the Federal Alliance that they claim is led by Dr. Kiyingi. He has vehemently denied this assertion.
Uganda claims Dr. Kiyingi “offered training, recruitment and logistical support” to rebels fighting for the overthrow of President Museveni. These included the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a western Uganda-based rebel group that the West has added onto a list of fighting forces categorized around the world by the West as terrorist organizations.
Uganda authorities claim that through Ms. Aisha Nakasibante, Dr. Kiyingi channeled funds to the rebel movements that have allegedly been behind the assassinations of Muslim clerics, Sheikh Abdul Muwaya, and Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga; killed on public roads by assailants riding motorcycles referred to as bodabodas.
Dr. Kiyingi has strenuously denied these claims. In his February interview with The LEP, Dr. Kiyingi had made it clear that Ms. Nakasibante was simply a mobilizer for his Uganda Federal Democratic Organization (UFDO); he says Aishas “only crime” was to distribute cards explaining the purpose of the UFDO.
During his joint interview Friday with both the BSN and The LEP, Dr. Kiyingi compared his plight with what he says were past attempts by Museveni to abuse the country’s courts and security agencies to sideline candidates he feared. He says the Museveni government was “conjuring up” what he called “artificial criminal charges and smear campaigns.”
He recalled how Dr. Kizza Besigye, a Ugandan opposition leader, and two Members of Parliament, Reagan Okumu and Michael Nyeko Ocula, were accused of murder after being arrested within the precincts of parliament. It was alleged that Museveni had ordered these men’s arrest in the hope that they would be kept out of the 2006 general election. The trap failed when they made successful appeals in court and were released in time to contest the elections. Dr. Besigye is former president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
Dr. Kiyingi claimed that as next years election draws near, Museveni was now employing the same tactics he attempted in 2006 to make life difficult for those poised to challenge his leadership. He said Ugandans hadnt been aware of President Musevenis “modus operandi” until he came up with the idea of empowering all Ugandans, irrespective of their political affiliations, religious backgrounds or ethnic-background with the knowledge that Museveni had been and was still deliberately denying them of their basic human necessities.
He asserted that Museveni has since taken away the dignity of all Ugandans and placed their rights exclusively in his hands. He charged that there are clear signs that the Ugandan “misleader” had deliberately denied such basic necessities like medical facilities, better education and a descent normal life to a majority of Ugandans. Museveni has played a double game for far too long. I have started and will continue to expose him for what he really is, Kiyingi affirmed.
Appealing to Ugandas neighbors to take stock of what has been happening in Uganda for so long, Dr. Kiyingi urged them to disown Museveni. Change in Uganda is inevitable and I have managed to empower the Ugandan public with the knowledge and facts about Musevenis authorities, failures, the gross abuse of human rights and well-known extreme corruption. He added: I have dispelled the false image that Museveni is untouchable. The ordinary man in Uganda now has hope and is getting less scared of Museveni.
Dr. Kiyingi declared: Musevenis ship is sinking and there is no turning back now. I am sure the international community would not want to be caught on the wrong side when the ship finally capsizes. The writing is on the wall.
In a message to Ugandans at home and abroad, the renowned Ugandan-Australian heart surgeon had this to say: I would like to assure you of my commitment to bring change in Uganda. Many of you have taken risks and others have died in order to fight for what is right and restore freedom and prosperity to all Ugandans irrespective of your back ground, religion, political affiliations, and tribe. He sent a special message to all Ugandans saying: I am very proud of you all and I encourage you not to lose focus. We must all stand together to rescue Uganda. The time is now and there is no turning back.
Norman S. Miwambo is a correspondent for both The LEP and BSN. Nkonge I Kaggwa and Henry D Gombya contributed to this article.