Kampala- Pte Godfrey Galabuzi Musisi, the man once convicted by an army court over accusations of attempting to assassinate President Museveni, is one of the people in police custody over the killing of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
The former Internal Security Organisation (ISO) operative, who says the assassination accusation was a concoction against him, has been in and out of detention on at least six occasions in recent times, which he all blames on his “enemies”.
According to Mr Nasir Nsubuga, the local council chairperson of Namooli Village in Namugongo, Wakiso District, Mr Musisi was arrested on Thursday, March 23, at around 7:20am. To effect the arrest, Mr Musisi says, about 20 police patrol and military pick-up trucks blocked all roads leading to Mr Musisi’s residence.
“He was arrested together with his wife and two maids, leaving his school-going child at home alone. I was called in after a search (of the house) and they took me to the nearest trading centre, where they photocopied a search certificate and gave me a copy,” Mr Nsubuga told Sunday Monitor.
He listed some of the exhibits taken from Mr Musisi’s house, including a pair of green gumboots, a green T-shirt, a laptop, micro-cassette recorder and some items of one of Mr Musisi’s former tenants.
“I only pleaded with them not to torture him like they did last year because he is sick. I am under pressure from residents who want me to tell them Mr Musisi’s whereabouts. Policemen only told me they were taking him to Kira Road Police Station but he is not there,” Mr Nsubuga added.
Police spokesperson Asan Kasingye confirmed to this newspaper that Mr Musisi is one of the suspects arrested in the ongoing investigation regarding Kaweesi’s murder, but offered no more details.
One of Mr Musisi’s sisters, who asked not to be named, however, told this reporter on Thursday that after mounting a search for her brother that lasted almost a week, they had confirmed that he was being detained at Nalufenya in Jinja District, a high security police facility for hardcore criminals.
Mr Musisi is one of a number of suspects (the exact number is not clear) who have been arrested over the shooting of former AIGP Kaweesi, his driver and bodyguard just about 500 metres away from his residence in Kulambiro, Kampala, on March 17.
“Trying to assassinate Museveni”
Three weeks before his latest arrest, this reporter interviewed Mr Musisi as he underwent treatment in a clinic in Kampala for wounds he said he sustained when he was tortured following an earlier arrest.
“I get angry wherever you journalists refer to me as Museveni’s assassin,” Mr Musisi said. “Much as it is true that they first charged me in the court martial of trying to assassinate him, prosecution amended the charge to trying to penetrate the PGB inner circle while armed. The reason President Museveni pardoned me is that he learnt that I was maliciously prosecuted,” Mr Musisi said on March 3.
Mr Musisi was in 2004 arrested and accused of trying to assassinate President Museveni at the International Conference Centre Complex, now Kampala Serena Hotel. In September 2005, he appeared before a seven-member panel at the First Division court martial presided over by Maj Willy Ndinda.
Mr Musisi faced three counts of treason, terrorism and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline of the army, each of which carries a maximum sentence of death. The case was not to be decided until 2009, however, and not after two other chairpersons had presided over it.
Prosecution claimed in one of the counts that Mr Musisi, with intent to maim, disfigure, kill or otherwise, aimed a Yugoslavia-made pistol loaded with eight rounds of live ammunition at the President during a summit at the International Conference Centre complex.
He was also charged with unlawfully penetrating the inner defence circle of the then Presidential Guard Brigade (PGB) with a gun, an act that amounts to treason.
Mr Musisi, whose defence was led by the late Sam Njuba, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was remanded at Kigo prison.
Prosecution presented three witnesses, including Brig Elly Kayanja, who was then ISO director. In his evidence Brig Kayanja told court, which partly tried Mr Musisi in camera, that the accused never attempted to assassinate Mr Museveni.
“I deployed Musisi to the complex a day after the President went to the complex. The day of the alleged assassination, Musisi was not at the alleged scene of crime,” Brig Kayanja testified.
But two prosecution witnesses, the army’s director of operations, Lt Herbert Mugarura and Lt Musa Makubuya, the then head of terrorism/crime, pinned Mr Musisi.
He was eventually convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but President Museveni pardoned him in late 2010.
“I was tortured”
Since his release from prison, however, Mr Musisi has been arrested on a number of other occasions, including the one he refers to below:
“The two arrests of May (2016) and late last year were instigated by my relative, whom I refused to sell our graveyard after we gave him his portion and he sold it off. I am telling you this because I am not safe; anything can happen to me. I wanted to leave the country but one of my bosses (who he said is a senior army officer) assured me that he will investigate and find out the truth,” Mr Musisi said during the interview with this reporter three weeks prior to his recent arrest.
Mr Musisi says after his arrest on May 26, 2016, he underwent a nine-day torture session at both Jinja Road Police Station and Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala, which he says was instigated by his relative.
“While torturing me, they used to ask me whether I had ever read the Bible. When I accepted and told them I had one at home, they told me that the Bible they were referring to was different.
They put my two hands together and brought four one-foot metals and started tying my hands with rubber cords, saying that was the police Bible read by hardcore criminal suspects,” Mr Musisi said as he stretched out his hands to show the damage caused by nails.
“One police officer I only knew as Adyebo, told me one day at CPS that he would have asked me for Shs4m to release me but added that because I had ‘disturbed’ him, I should give him Shs40m in exchange for my release. When I told him I had no money, he said when I am prepared, I send for him,” Mr Musisi adds.
After recovering from his injuries, Mr Musisi says he was charged with being in illegal possession of bullets of a pistol before Nakawa Grade One Magistrate’s Court, a case which was dismissed late last year for want of prosecution.