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Uganda Media Centre (UMC) public affairs officer Obed Katureebe who has been missing for the last two days is under state protection, his boss UMC executive director, Ofwono Opondo has said.
Worried family members, relatives and friends claim they have tried to reach him on his known contacts in the last two days in vain. Katureebe’s friends today Tuesday took to social media especially Twitter demanding to know where he is.
Opondo, replied “Obed is under security protection because of the threats allegedly against his person details of which am yet to be provided with. I have been assured that he is safe and not under arrest
Opondo responded to another tweet that Katureebe’s issues were being handled appropriately and professionally. But Opondo did not give details on which security agency is holding Katureebe and for what reasons.
“I can confidently state that Katureebe matter is being handled appropriately and professionally with those concerned. I will update the media when necessary,” Opondo added.
Although reasons for Katureebe’s being held by security agencies are scanty, it is reported that he was picked by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and Special Forces Command (SFC) soldiers. Katureebe previously claimed he was being wrongly targeted by Rwanda for operating a pseudo social media account under the name Robert Patrick Fati Gakwerere (@RGakwerere) to attack Rwanda President Paul Kagame.
Personally, I have been wrongly labeled a vitriolic critic of the Rwandan government who hides my identity through the pseudo names of some blogger who identifies himself as RPF Gakwerere,” he’s quoted as saying.
“So sad that I also have no idea about this blogger…I chose not to respond to the several accusations by several trolls in Rwanda because I knew no amount of talk would exonerate me as long as the two countries were still having a standoff.”
Indeed, some Rwandans have weighed in on Katureebe’s arrest – with many saying he deserves it for insulting their president. Only recently did Uganda and Rwandan leaders publicly declare an end to the long diplomatic standoff between the two countries since February 2019 when Kagame accused Uganda of harbouring and facilitating Rwandan dissidents plotting for the downfall of his government and henceforth closing the borders with Uganda.
Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said Katureebe’s issues were yet to be brought to his attention.
“I haven’t got Katureebe’s issues on my table. I am like a journalist. When the news comes, you look for it. Let me also go and look for this information,” Enanga said.