The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) yesterday arrested Ronald Obel the acting commissioner legal at the internal affairs ministry under unclear reasons. His arrest comes a month after he replaced Josephine Ali Ekwanga, the acting head of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control.
The reshuffles were done last month after three senior officials at the ministry were interdicted for allegedly being at the centre of a sh2.3b deal. According to sources, the deal would have potentially scuttled a supposed plan to revamp Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation so that it prints all security documents.
A source at the internal affairs ministry told New Vision that Obel was picked up by security operatives from CMI after lunch. According to the source, it is alleged that Obel solicited for a bribe from a Pakistan investor (yet to be identified), who runs a factory in Namanve Industrial Park, in Mukono district.
The source added that the Pakistan national stormed the internal affairs ministry, claiming that Obel was frustrating his work by refusing to sort out his issue. “We are not sure about the issues the man was talking about. We are not aware about the deals between Obel and investor,” the source said.
The source added that the investor was furious and that all people at the ministry were scared of asking him what their issues were.
“We got concerned after CMI arrived and were taking him away,” the source said.
The source added that Obel was detained at CMI headquarters in Mbuya, a city suburb. It is alleged that the investor is a business partner of a top military general (name withheld) and that the latter could have ordered for his arrest and investigation.
However, the source added that Obel’s arrest could have been done to tarnish his reputation so that he is not appointed permanently as the commissioner legal.
The source added that Obel is the most senior person in the legal department and that this places him in a better position to fill the position of commissioner legal and inspection services at the ministry.
Army speaks out
When contacted, Brig. Richard Karemire, the army spokesperson, confirmed that Obel had been arrested by CMI, but declined to divulge details. “Give us time to investigate, we will inform the public on why he was arrested,” he said.