Kampala, Uganda | HAGGAI MATSIKO | She has met President Yoweri Museveni and the Director General of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Col. Frank Kaka Bagyenda. She is now being guarded by the Special Forces Command, the elite troops that protect the President but she still fears for her life.
And the police insist she is a person of interest and they want to interrogate her in connection with the murder of the late former Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
So who is Christine Umuhoza Mbabazi the woman who recently, on Oct.12, led to a near exchange of fire between the different security agencies at her home in Kosovo-Lungujja, a Kampala suburb? And what does she know about who killed Kaweesi?
An intelligence source told The Independent that Mbabazi became a subject of interest to security agencies following reports that she was privy to information about the police chief’s murder.
Indeed, as the security agencies raided different parts of the country arresting suspects and collecting evidence, Mbabazi’s home was not spared.
Kaweesi was murdered on March 17 and in April, elements she didn’t identify raided her home, raped her and took off with her pictures, CDs and phones.
The Independent could not confirm what vital information she shared with Museveni to warrant her protection. However, we confirmed that she has been under the security custody of ISO.
Although Mbabazi has become a sensation on social media because of her recorded posts, she is quite calculative about what she says and does, including holding the Holy Christian Bible close to her heart. She appeals to emotions but offers few revelations.
Even her relationship with Kaweesi, as a mistress, is implied other than affirmed by her. All one sees in the videos is a woman of the world whose favoured weapon is a veil of vulnerability and guile.
Fresh details The Independent has obtained confirm that although this woman was introduced to President Museveni as a person with information about who killed Kaweesi, she appears not to trust him.
As a result, although Museveni reportedly ordered Kaka to keep her under 24/7 security surveillance, she somehow on Oct.12 managed to call police and report that she was kidnapped and was being kept in the house against her will.
Ordinarily, police officers from around her home in Lungujja and possibly Natete police stations, who she contacted, would have responded.
Instead it was the commander of the police elite unit called the Flying Squad Unit, Herbert Muhangi, who mainly handles high profile cases at the Nalufenya high security detention facility which is notorious for torturing suspects, who showed up at Mbabazi’s house with a heavily armed force.
Police, ISO rivalry
The Flying Squad, which operates under the close supervision of the Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura, has been at the centre of the investigations in the Kaweesi murder. However, some observers say Muhangi’s arrival with full force at Mbabazi’s home spoke volumes.
And it appears Kaka’s ISO force of about 10 was ready for them. A standoff ensued with police insisting on taking away Mbabazi and the ISO operatives refusing to hand her over and camp having its fingers on the trigger. Fortunately, phone calls to their superiors yielded a solution – the deployment of a so-called `neutral force’ – President Museveni’s own guard.
But in the murky intelligence world, that story is just one of many being narrated about the incident. Other sources claiming to know exactly what happened claim the face-off between ISO and the police at Lungujja was not about Mbabazi but about an ISO agent—a one Lt. Serwanga Juuko.
Police reportedly wanted to arrest Juuko. This former convict, who is a former ISO agent and one of several that Kaka brought back to the agency when he was appointed in January, is said to have created tension between the police and ISO.
In one case, the woman at the centre of the Lungujja clash, Mbabazi, accuses Juuuko of expressing romantic desires of her and taking by force when he was denied.
But the return of Juuko and other agents by Kaka has created tensions at ISO with officers accusing Kaka of sidelining professional spies and bringing back deserters and informal operators. For instance, there reportedly was tension at the agency several weeks ago when Kaka directed that a vehicle that was being used by one of the directors be given to Juuko.