On Friday, the Kiruhura deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Nicholas Kamukama, went wild, yelling and desperately appealing to guests seated in a restaurant to save him.
“Afande, come to my rescue. These criminals have arrested me and they want to humiliate me, please help,” a visibly shocked Kamukama yelled as he turned around, knocking tables and attracting the attention of the people around.
Kamukama was cornered at Agip Motel restaurant in Mbarara town at about 8:00pm by detectives who had waited for him the whole day. The Police detectives were on a joint mission with the State House Anti-Corruption Unit team, headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema, to arrest Kamukama for allegedly soliciting for a bribe.
The State House AntiCorruption Unit was appointed by President Yoweri Museveni in December to fight corruption in government offices and institutions, through receiving and acting on corruptionrelated complaints. The unit receives phone calls and text messages from whistleblowers via a toll-free helpline 0800202500 and text messages on 0778202500.
Kamukama, who was arrested together with his alleged ‘middleman’, a district councillor called Kosia Akangubeho, is accused of soliciting a sh10m bribe from two moneylenders, Herbert Bwayiga and Polycarp Kivuna, owners of Kivuna and Bwayiga Moneylenders in Nyamambo trading centre in Kazo, Kiruhura district.
It is alleged that Kamukama asked for the bribe to block the arrest order against the moneylenders, whom he accused of harassing defaulters and confiscating their property. The money lenders claimed that they had been in hiding for over a month following Kamukama’s arrest order. They alleged that the Police and Internal Security Organisation (ISO) personnel had been looking for them.
According to information given to the Police, to elude detection, Kamukama allegedly, through his middleman, informed the moneylenders that he would hire a hotel room in Mbarara town, where they were supposed to meet. The moneylenders reportedly agreed to deliver the first instalment of sh3m and pay the balance later.
The moneylenders were advised to instead meet at Meliva Guesthouse near Agip Motel. Kamukama, however, did not show up at the guesthouse. It is Akangubeho who turned up to receive the money. Akangubeho was arrested immediately after receiving the envelope.
During interrogation, he denied ownership of the money and agreed to lead the detectives to his ‘boss’. At about 8:00pm, Akangubeho took the moneylenders to where Kamukama was seated at Agip Motel. He was with the Kiruhura district senior communications manager, Benon Muganzi. They then delivered the envelope to him, but after detecting that the moneylenders were in company of unknown people, he threw the envelope back.
Nonetheless, the detectives arrested him. Muganzi later explained that after attending district council meeting at Kiruhura on Friday, they agreed to meet with Kamukama in Mbarara to help him fill online declaration forms for his wealth. Kamukama and Akangubeho, together with the complainants, were taken to Mbarara Police Station, before being whisked off to Kampala in the night. However, Kamukama said the move to arrest him was intended to end his career. He vowed that one day he would regain his freedom since he had not committed murder.