SFC’s PN Ankunda, security officers jailed for spying for Rwanda

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By URN/Observer

The General Court Martial has remanded seven Ugandan security officers accused of sharing sensitive information with Rwandan government agents.

The suspects include second lieutenants Alex Kasamula attached to Military Police, Phillip Neville Ankunda, attached to Special Forces headquarters as a pilot, privates Nathan Ndwaine, Moses Asiimwe and Godfrey Mugabi, all engineering and aircrafts maintenance students at Nakasongola Air Defense Wing.

The others are assistant superintendents of police, Benon Akandwanaho and Frank Sabiiti who are attached to Kira Police Division headquarters and Counter-Terrorism at Mutukula border post respectively. The suspects appeared on Monday before the Makindye based Court Martial chaired by Lt Gen Andrew Gutti. 

They were charged with offences relating to security contrary to section 130 of the UPDF Act, which provides for offense relating to disclosure of confidential information to an enemy or unauthorised members of the defense forces, person or the public.

Victoria University

According to the prosecution led by Capt Ambrose Baguma, between February and May this year, the accused persons and others still at large at various places within Kampala city, shared sensitive information with agents of Rwandan authorities with intentions to prejudice the security of the defense forces of the Ugandan government. 

The prosecution didn’t divulge details on the kind of information the accused person shared with the Rwandan agents. The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges. Baguma asked court to remand them up to August 31, 2020, as investigations continue.

As a result, Lt. Gen. Gutti accordingly remanded the accused to Makindye Military police barracks as requested by the prosecution. The suspects have been in the custody of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) for close to four months following their arrest in April and May 2020 on allegations of espionage.

Rwanda and Uganda have had frosty relations since President Paul Kagame ordered the closure of Cyanika and Gatuna borders in February 2019. The Kigali administration accused the Ugandan government of harbouring dissidents who want to topple its leadership.  

Last year, President Yoweri Museveni and Kagame held various meetings to try and resolve the stalemate. The talks that seemed to have been progressing well suffered a setback because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week in an August 4, 2020 letter to all residence district commissioners (RDCs) and deputies titled: Border incursion by Rwandan security forces on Ugandan territory, the minister in charge of the presidency, Esther Mbayo said that President Museveni had ordered all RDCs “especially in districts neighbouring Rwanda of criminal Rwanda Government policy of shooting smugglers that are not armed although what they are doing is illegal. Ugandans should stop going into Rwanda or those who go should do so at their own risk.”

The letter added; ”As for the Rwanda soldiers infiltrating into Uganda to kidnap people, the concerned agencies are already briefed as to how to deal with that provocation.”

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