Security agencies have arrested/kidnapped an American national Guy Smith from Fort Portal Tourism City for allegedly being involved in anti-government subversive activities against Uganda.
According to police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, a team from Special Investigations Division in Kireka, Kampala arrested Smith, 62, in the wee hours of Sunday morning on March 21. However, by Monday evening, the police in Fort Portal was still unaware of Smith’s arrest. When our reporter contacted the Rwenzori West regional police spokesperson, Vincent Twesige, he said he needed more time to inquire about the matter.
According to Smith’s wife, Sharon Tusiime he was picked from their home in Kitumba ward, Central Division of Fort Portal at around 3:30 am on Sunday.
Tusiime narrates that even though she was not around that night, she has got reliable information that unknown people jumped over their fence and broke into their house. She they came in driving 3 unmarked and numberless vehicles which included the infamous ‘drone’. After they got in, she says, the security operatives thoroughly checked the whole house, picked some phones and a computer before arresting Smith.
Tusiime adds that Smith is originally from Kentucky, USA and has been here in Uganda for over 20 years. He retired as a maintenance manager of a couple of lodges some years back but has lived in Fort Portal with his Ugandan family for the past two years.
“Police called me and said that he is in safe hands, but I don’t know where,” Tusiime says.
Towards and after the January 14 elections, several people believed to be opposition supporters, particularly belonging to former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform have been arrested/kidnapped in a similar manner. The usually plain-clothed security personnel who carry out the arrest/kidnaps, drive Toyota Hiace vehicles also infamously known as drones.
Even though the minister of Internal Affairs, Jeje Odongo recently released a list of 177 people whom he said were being investigated for a number of crimes, NUP insists that over 600 of its members were not on the list and are still unaccounted for.
To compel the state to release their arrested supporters, NUP leaders in the region are organizing peaceful demonstrations in the seven districts and Fort Portal city that make up Tooro sub-region. There are no details yet to indicate whether Smith is suspected of being linked to NUP or not.
Our reporter has already seen a letter written by Innocent Natukunda, the team leader of NUP coordinators in Tooro, notifying security organs about the planned demonstrations on March 30.