The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Chief of Defence Forces General David Muhoozi has admitted meeting the former president and founder of National Unity Reconciliation and Development Party/ National Unity Platform (NUP) Moses Nkonge Kibalama.
During UBC TV’s Behind the Headlines show on Wednesday, Gen Muhoozi revealed that he was forced to meet Kibalama because he had alleged that his life was in danger adding that during the meeting, they never discussed about NUP.
“Someone got in touch & told me Kibalama requested to meet me. I asked, can’t it wait? He said Kibalama’s life was in danger. I did not solicit the meeting. But why shouldn’t I meet him or any other Ugandan? I wouldn’t want to be drawn in the dynamics of NUP. But everyone is entitled to an opinion. I have finally been given the opportunity to be heard; I met Kibalama on matters other than NUP,” Gen Muhoozi disclosed.
A few months ago Kibalama handed over NURDP to Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine and its name was changed to NUP. Days later, a video made rounds on social media in which Kibalama was heard saying that the USD5 million (Ssh18.5 billion) deal they had with Bobi Wine to make him the party president failed to materialise thus deciding to repossess what originally belonged to him.
“After a long period of the people power group threatening me and failing to adhere to the memorandum of understanding made between us and the people power group we have made a decision to retain NUP since Mr Kyagulanyi and his group cannot follow the objectives of the party,” said Kibalama.
Also, two former members of NURDP Difas Basile and Hassan Twala petitioned High court accusing their leader Kibalama of fraudulently making changes in the party’s constitution and effecting its takeover without following due processes.
Court summoned both Kibalama and Bobi Wine to explain how the party changed its name and how Bobi Wine became its president. However, Kibalama was nowhere and it was later revealed that he was in the custody of security operatives. Since Kibalama didn’t show up on the first subpoena, the court postponed the hearing to Friday before ordering for Kibalama’s presence to defend himself.
Appearing in Court for cross-examination last month, Kibalama ate his own words when he said he was not the one who appeared in the video. He also reiterated that a party is not for sale, and he has never sold the party to anyone.
Teary Kibalama who failed even to identify his lawyers also revealed that he had been under detention for two weeks in Mbale, surrounded by the military.
He also told the court that weeks ago shortly after exiting his home, he received a call from a stranger who told him “we know where you are because we are seeing you. Now just drive here,….we need some information from you”.
On reaching where he was told to go, among the people found waiting for him was the commander of UPDF, Gen Muhoozi. Kibalama said the information they wanted from him was about NUP.
In the same tone, Kibalama asked the court to help him regain his freedom adding that it is in the public domain that his friends have been looking for him and they could not locate him and all his numbers were off until Uganda peoples Defence forces came out to clarify that it is availing his security.
However, following Kibalamas allegation, the UPDF Spokesperson Brig Flavia Byakwaso said that it was not true that Gen Muhoozi asked Kibalama for information about NUP instead it’s Kibalama who invited him for his safety.
“This evening I received calls from several media houses asking me about what Kibalama had said in court that CDF called him, quizzed, intimidated and asked him why he had handed over his party to other people especially Mr Kyagulanyi, but I want to state and tell the public that it’s not correct,” she said.
In the same the UPDF spokesperson, Brig Byakwaso revealed that it’s Kibalama through his emissaries requested for the meeting with the CDF.
“Kibalama cited several security reasons thus why he wanted to meet with the CDF. The latter accepted to meet him, indeed the meeting took place in presence of other people. I’m not privy to what transpired, therefore, I can not say what was said but what I want to assure the public is that this meeting was on request by Mr Kibalama and the group. Maybe the public must also know that this meeting happened a long time ago before Kibalama’s disappearance,” she said while confirming that that is the only time Kibalama met with the CDF. Gen Muhoozi.