KAMPALA – The family of Stanley Ndawula, the editor of an online website, The Investigator, insists he was arrested by operatives from the Internal Security Organisation.
Ndawula was on Friday night picked from his bar on Bukoto Street and bundled into a waiting car that later disappeared.
Whereas ISO director Frank ‘Kaka’ Bagyenda and Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigire say they are unaware of his arrest, his son, Kenneth Ndawula, and the workers at his bar on Sunday claimed he was taken by a vehicle with government number plates.
Kenneth, who is a university student, said his father shortly after being arrested, called him, explaining that he had been arrested by ISO operatives. However, Kenneth said his father did not explain where he was and for what reason he had been arrested.
He said officers at Kiira Road Police Station refused to record his statement, saying they should contact the military that arrested him.
Maureen Atim, a cashier at the bar, says Ndawula was bundled into a double cabin pickup that had parked at the entrance for some time.
Atim says shortly after he was taken, Ndawula later called her, urging her to continue working as normally but could not give further details. She said he seemed under duress.
Kenneth and other relatives said they spent a latter part of Saturday trying to contact different security organizations in vain.
The Online Media Publishers Association (OMPA) has condemned the arrest.
The Association President, Giles Muhame, said: “Although it is not yet clear who his captors are, witness accounts suggest, he was abducted by what appears to be state agents. Given the unprofessional nature of his arrest, both the reasons for his abduction and his whereabouts remain unknown. ”
He said if the state has any legitimate case against Mr. Ndawula, he should be be produced before courts of law.
Ndawula was last year arrested and charged with offensive communication.
According to the charge sheet signed by Mike Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ndawula was accused of publishing an article in the Investigator online alleging that Gen Kale Kayihura had resorted to killing his own police officers as a way of covering his crimes, a story which prosecution said was false.