KAMPALA – Foreign Affairs State Minister, Okello Oryem has said that “anybody who commits a crime in any country whatsoever will pay the price for committing and breaking the law, including in Uganda.”
Oryem was on Wednesday addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala following the reported arrested of Turkey-based Ugandan blogger and government critic Fred Lumbuye.
Mr Oryem said that Lumbuye was not a special person and should not expect to be treated exceptionally if he broke the law.
“I heard that he has been arrested. And if he’s arrested because of a crime he committed, then he deserves to be arrested because of that crime. That person you’re talking about is not a special person. Who is he that he can be above the law irrespective of where he’s he is! The law is very clear in all countries; you break the law, you pay the penalty. So if he broke the law then he will pay the price,” Mr Oryem said said.
“And I would have thought that every single one of you would be celebrating that this person committed a crime and he’s been arrested and being brought before the court of law but now it seems you’re sympathizing with him,” he added.
The National Unity Platform’s (NUP) Facebook and YouTube vlogger was reportedly kidnapped on Tuesday and taken to unknown destination.
According to his fellow bloggers, he was arrested by Ugandan embassy in Turkey following attempts to renew his passport.
The source says that Lumbuye sent his passport, but officials seized it, prompting him to show up. he was then arrested.
“According to reports from the Ugandan Community in Istanbul- Turkey Mr. Fred Lumbuye has been arrested. The Uganda Embassy in Ankara is yet to receive official communication from the relevant law enforcement institutions of Turkey in regard to this case,” an official from Foreign Affairs Ministry stated.
Lumbuye, who has been for long wanted by the Ugandan government is known for making reckless statements online via Facebook Live against President Museveni, the first family, Buganda Kingdom, Katikiro Peter Mayiga and other government personalities.
In many of his vlogs, Lumbuye could be seen donning the popular red beret attached to the people power movement and its supporters in Uganda.
In July, 2021, the spokesperson of the Criminal Investigations Department, Charles Twine said that security agencies had intensified efforts in tracking the blogger whom they say was the prime orchestrator of the devastating news of the ‘death’ of president Museveni.
This followed President Museveni’s directive to security services to quickly investigate and follow up individuals who peddle false news on social media.
“We need to solve this issue.. it is not security but an idiotic problem..social media. Social media has been saying Museveni is dead. When I went to Bombo people were looking…. Because they had been told by social media that Museveni is dead. Security service needs to solve that problem. They need to check and locate quickly, the one who tells such as story and waste peoples time. They should go for you, locate where you are and come for you. If you are in Europe, we denounce you. Say go to hell! he said.