KAMPALA – The Director of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Col (rtd) Frank Kaka Bagyenda, has confirmed that his security personnel carried out last week’s raid on the MTN data centre in Kampala and said nobody is above the law.
The telecom giant protested to the Uganda Communications Mission (UCC) after a combined military force raided its data centres in Mutundwe Rubaga, and Port-bell Road Mbuya Nakawa on July 2 and reportedly accessed the telecom’s data.
And now, Col Bagyenda has said their raid was prompted by a few investigation tips, which he did not disclose. He instead justified the raid, saying telecom companies are not immune to security checks.
“It is true we did, there are things we are investigating just like anyone we are investigating,” he said in an interview.
Last week, this website reported that the raid on the offices was precipitated by allegations that the company was evading tax and to find call data on some suspects being held in connection with the murder of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Asked whether this was the major reason for the raid, the ISO Director said: “Even these private companies also have issues; don’t think they are perfect. If we can admit that our own intelligence can have problems, what about private companies? They may have their own problems; criminal in nature sometimes,” Col Bagyenda said.
He also revealed that about a month ago, ISO operatives had visited Uganda Telecom Company over routine high level investigations.
He maintained that there was nothing strange about such abrupt checks, saying the operations are central to the country’s national security.
Highly placed security sources told PML Daily last week that the security operatives sought to find out information from call logs of the suspects in the Kaweesi murder after discovering that the call data between Kaweesi and the suspects had been deleted.
Kaweesi together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and his driver Godfrey Mambewa were showered with bullets as they left home in Kulambiro, Kampala, on March 7, 2017.
ISO and CMI took over the investigation from police after it was revealed that the crime may have been an inside job. So far, former Flying Squad operatives have been arrested over the crime.
It has emerged that as part of the investigation, security operatives discovered that all call data of people who had communicated with Kaweesi in the days leading up to the murder has been deleted.
Therefore, it is said the raid was to ascertain whether this was the case and who could have been responsible.
Security sources also revealed that the raid intended to establish if the Telecom company has been evading tax through underdeclaration of profit as alleged by President Museveni.
While making case for levying social media tax, the President said government was losing revenue through under declaration of their revenue.
Sources said the raid was conducted with the knowledge of the President.