Mbarara University of Science and Technology Academic Staff Association (MUSTASA) General Secretary Julius Taremwa was reportedly kidnapped by gunmen and whisked off to Kampala.
In an email to fellow academic staff, Taremwa said on Friday 29th November 2019, he was having lunch at Ishanyu food centre in Mbarara town at 2:30pm when three gun wielding men two in plain clothes hurriedly kidnapped and threw him into a very old Toyota premio vehicle.
The car sped off heading to Masaka and later proceeded to Kampala arriving at about 11:00pm. He was dumped in the cells at Central Police Station (CPS).
“With nothing to eat and drink, I was lucky to find a spot to spend the night in the cells. The night was very difficult and scary because I kept wondering what was going to happen to me.”
He said the following morning on Saturday at around 10:00am, he was brought out of the cell only to meet a familiar face of the Lawyer representing the Mbarara University Vice Chancellor in the case in which je sued him for wrongful reappointment.
In August this year, MUSTASA rejected the reappointment of Professor Celestino Obua as the university’s Vice-Chancellor (VC) saying the council failed to undertake its role in the selection process of the Vice Chancellor.
Interestingly, the same lawyer also represents a lady called Edith Wadika who works at MUST as a research manager for grants won by the MUST Vice Chancellor.
“This lawyer is called Sam Mukwatirire. I was ushered into one of the rooms at CPS Kampala where he begun by threatening me of dire consequences including spending two weeks in prison and how my life will be very difficult in MUST including an impending dismissal,” Taremwa wrote.
“We had a very long discussion and I realised that the issue of my kidnap stems from our MUSTASA general assembly held in July 2019, where we discussed the issue of academic fraud involving the Vice Chancellor and a one Edith Wakida and thereafter a newspaper story in the new vision titled ” DONS PROTEST FAKE DEGREE AT MUST”.”
The lawyer finally informed Taremwa that he was under instruction from his masters in Mbarara to do all it takes to have him [Taremwa] charged with defamation and kept in prison.
“I note that this same lawyer Sam Mukwatiriri wrote to me an intention to sue letter around August 2019 but as an innocent person, I ignored it as a mere threat.”
On 24 October 2019, the day when the contract of the Vice Chancellor for his ‘first’ term ended, he wrote to the MUST Director of Human Resource accusing him of failing to take action against Taremwa in a case of defamation that the Vice Chancellor had reported to his office for action.
Again, from the same discussion with Counsel Mukwatiriri, it was very clear that the ugly act of kidnap with intention to torture had been orchestrated and financed by both the Vice Chancellor and a one Edith Wakida, Taremwa wrote to fellow staff.
“Like the letter to the MUST Director Human Resource on the same case of defamation, kidnapping me was a deliberate plan to ensure that I am not present in court on the 03 December 2019 hearing which would weaken our resolve to clean MUST through well laid legal processes.”
“In my understanding, the risks are now very many and this is evidence that the duo will go to any lengths to stop me.”
He said the well-choreographed plan for my torture and denial of freedom by the Vice Chancellor and a one Edith Wakida was only thwarted by three forces:
1) The leadership FASPU and PUNTSEF that swung into action from Makerere University and Kyambogo University after a tip off by a good cop and came to his rescue at CPS.
2) The well trained self-motivated legal team from Wameli & Company Advocates wasted no time in vigorously standing up for his rights and freedom; and
3) The well trained Deputy OC CID who challenged the duo’s counsel on detention laws in Uganda and clearly stated that she has no reasons at any cost, to detain and torture lecturers over trumped up charges moreover by a lawyer representing Professor Celestino Obua in a court case where he is challenging his reappointment as a Vice Chancellor.
“This same lawyer is representing Ms Edith Wakida in a defamation case against me as per their intention to sue.”
“I am glad that as l write to you, I am a free man having regained my freedom at around 2:00pm [Saturday] and hurriedly found my way to Mbarara arriving at night. I am strong and resolved as ever because, all I am doing, is climbing a mountain of truth which will never be in vain.”
“As you are aware, MUSTASA can not sue and cannot be sued therefore we have another court case of defamation being handled by Sam Mukwatiriri the lawyer of the Vice Chancellor Professor Celestino Obua and Ms Edith Wakida titled – “Edith Wakida Vs Julius Taremwa” coming up in court.”
Taremwa ended his mail by inviting fellow staff for the court hearing on the current case of Julius Taremwa Vs Olwenyi, Obua et al on Tuesday 3rd December 2019 at exactly 9:00am at Mbarara High Court.