Hassan Mukiibi-The New M7 Whistle Blower Cathing Finance Thieves
By John V Sserwaniko
Three weeks ago, two top technocrats in the Finance Ministry were arrested getting a bribe from a Chinese firm involved in developing the phosphates plant in Sekuru Sub County Tororo district. The much-publicized operation was orchestrated by President Museveni who coordinated everything through his right hand man called Hassan Serunjogi.
This man has continuously been referred to just as Hassan Serunjogi in all subsequent media reports about the saga which recently saw Museveni condemn Matia Kasaijja and PSST Keith Muhakanizi for presiding over a Ministry of thieves. However, in today’s briefing we unveil this shadowy whistle blower also known as Hassan Mukiibi Serunjogi.
WHO IS HE?
In his 30s, Mukiibi was originally an influential political operative in Amama Mbabazi (JPAM)’s camp and always accessed Mbabazi’s Kololo home with Jacqueline Mbabazi’s full backing. He was part of the nucleus that metamorphosed into NRM poor youth group whose supreme leader was Adam Luzindana aka Putin. Whereas, using his finance muscle, Museveni easily bought off many former Mbabazi diehards amongst the youth groups, Hassan Mukiibi Serunjogi was the hardest for him.
He had the money and wasn’t poor like many of his peers in the group. And he often told Museveni as much. In April 2014, Museveni called a meeting to reunite the NRM youth league executive whose members had become sharply divided over the Kyankwanzi resolution making him sole candidate in NRM. It was in Entebbe State House. A total of 19 NRM youth leaders attended and at the meeting’s end, Museveni had convinced and intimidated all except 5 to abandon JPAM.
Hassan Mukiibi was among the 5 Mbabazi diehards the others being William Seruyinda, Adam Luzindana, Omodo-Omodo and KCCA councilor Shakur Walusimbi who defied Museveni and remained adamant. Immediately after Kyankwanzi, the youth league executive took a majority position denouncing sole candidature. But members, led by David Kabanda and Ibrahim Kitata, objected and instead denounced Namara who headed the executive.
Namara retaliated by calling a meeting during which the duo was expelled from NRM youth league membership for indiscipline. Museveni intervened fearing the action on the duo would demoralize his supporters in other organs of NRM. So he lectured the 19 in order to get them accept the Kyankwanzi resolution and secondly to reverse the expulsion of Kabanda and Kitata.
During that meeting the 5 pro-Mbabazi insisted Museveni must retire. Mukiibi spoke last after the vote had been taken in which Museveni scored 14 votes against Mbabazi’s 5. Mukiibi told Museveni the boys voted that way because they expected more money from him than Mbabazi can give. He assured Museveni these same people can change anytime should anybody offer something more. This is how he specifically made his point:
“Your excellence you earlier on told us you are a rich man with cows but I’m also rich. I’m not poor and let me tell you these boys have voted like that because they are poor and hungry. I can also buy them immediately after here and the same people will vote differently. I always tell them to be hard working and be rich like me. I can’t easily be intimidated because I’m rich. I have over 10,000 trees and in 4 years time, I’m expecting to reap over Shs4bn. So I’m rich and not one of those who come here because they are poor.”
He told Museveni many of the youth were pretending to be his supporters and anti-Mbabazi because they are poor. “You are also poor just like all these other ones,” Museveni angrily answered back to the consternation of others in the meeting. Some colleagues feared for Mukiibi’s life and advised him not to sleep at his home as Museveni may sometimes not take such pride lightly. After the meeting, Museveni took a group photo with others which Mukiibi contemptuously shunned.
His argument was party cohesion, which Museveni was emphasizing shouldn’t be over glorified at the expense of internal democracy in the party. Janet Anyine and Adam Luzindana were some of the people closest to Mukiibi in that JPAM group. Museveni realized the group thing couldn’t work on Mukiibi hence a decision to engage him separately.
He used bumlicious Anyine who in a separate assignment famously returned Sejusa to the country along with Micheal Katungi. Anyine continuously engaged Hassan until she delivered him to Museveni initially at Kisozi where he engaged him for days. Museveni maintained the wealthy youngman from Budda in Masaka was suffering from ideological disorientation which gradually had to be detoxicated.
Meanwhile Mukiibi remained one of the operatives Jacqueline Mbabazi trusted most and liked his guts to stand up to Museveni and tell him to his face. One evening after those long discussions at Kisozi, Museveni offered to drive Mukiibi around his farm. Only two of them were in the vehicle with Museveni driving. Unknown to Mukiibi, photos were taken and later released on social media. These photos sparked chaos in JPAM’s camp with Luzindana calling a news conference to announce Mukiibi’s knifing late 2014.
He was instantly replaced by Issa Kato who became national coordinator NRM poor youths. Mukiibi was accused of espionage and the Mbabazi camp heavily invested money in downplaying the impact his defection would have on their plans. He initially denied being a Musevenist and explained his only problem was the extremist tendencies that were cropping up in NRM poor youth group members. He specifically insisted “the original idea was to oppose Mzee without being disrespectful and abusive to him.”
The Mbabazists invested in propaganda aimed at portraying him as heavily armed with pistols from Museveni’s SFC and all this aimed at making him shunned and unable to mobilize. Mukiibi then retreated to his private works including being a leading stones and concrete supplier to the Turkish construction company that was constructing roads in Hoima in the Kaiso Tonya neighborhood. These are some of the connections he benefited from closely working with the Mbabazis when they still called shots in Museveni’s government.
For some time he was known to be the power broker for the Turkish firms in construction industry. Unlike Luzindana who liked to be conspicuous ever driving around in posh cars with personalized number plates, Mukiibi always kept low profile despite being very rich. As he waited for the storm sparked by haters in Mbabazi’s camp to settle, Mukiibi also concentrated on supervising construction of his apartments in Bukasa-Muyenga near Sebaana’s Sebo Green resort.
Previously he had invited the entire NRM youth league fraternity-both Museveni and Mbabazi supporters-to attend a mega bash he held at his father’s home in Budda Masaka where he unveiled a Shs300m house he had constructed for his parents. In November 2014 (long after his expulsion from the JPAM camp), NRM Wakiso district youths gathered at the district headquarters expecting Museveni who didn’t turn up.
This left chief meeting convener, Sewava Mukasa with an egg on his face. Feeling very subdued by the youth who kept taunting him maliciously claiming he had eaten their Shs12m from ISO chief Ronnie Balya, Sewava rang NRM Vice Chairman Mike Mukula who came in as dangerous substitute. It turned out Mukula didn’t have any money to appease the rampaging youth. He only fed them on words urging them to resist Mbabazi’s money. This made them angrier and reacted by taking Mukula hostage. They locked him in one of the basement rooms and it was Hassan Mukiibi Serunjogi who weighed in and saved the day.
He pulled out his wallet and threw $4,000 at the angry/hungry youths who instantly began singing JPAM praises. As he put back the wallet in his pocket, $200 fell on the ground and flamboyant Mukiibi just walked onto his car and drove off as if $200 meant nothing to him. This made many conclude the man from Budda in Buddu Masaka was wealthy and wasn’t in JPAM vs Museveni youth politics for money.
This was a bad day for the Museveni camp as the youth became angry and refused to endorse his sole candidature ahead of the NRM National Conference at Namboole where JPAM was expected to take on Museveni. Then came the kidnap saga victimizing city lawyer Julius Galisonga in Kamwokya. The opposition-leaning lawyer put the blame on Mukiibi being among other ISO operatives who were behind his woes.
Apparently Galisonga had a dispute with a business rival who obtained the backing of powerful security operatives through Mukiibi. Haters in JPAM’s camp were happy for a while seeing Mukiibi, the man they considered a traitor, paying for his sins. In the end, perhaps tired of being branded a secret ISO agent, Mukiibi came out of the closet and openly embraced Musevenism and the mainstream NRM. He for sometime was counted among those vying for the seat of NRM Youth league chairmanship to replace Denis Namara along with Nasur Gaddafy and Jonathan Byaruhanga.
The thing, however, turned out uneasy for him as there was too much propaganda against him on social media. Led by David Kabanda, a faction of NRM youth leaders ganged up against Mukiibi and in favor of Nasur on grounds that Mukiibi wasn’t good enough for the job. Besides the heavily fortified vast property he owns in Muyenga, Hassan Mukiibi also owns one of the largest pine plantations in the Greater Masaka area and still does lucrative construction-related deals in Albertine region.
It’s also true that reformed Mukiibi has since become one of Museveni’s most trusted spies and specifically oversees interests and general protection of Chinese investors who for years have endured extortion by veteran scribes, Ministers, top technocrats and State House aides. Heavily guarded Mukiibi, who carries a diplomatic passport, closely works with Janet Anyine and reliable sources reveal he has, using his private office at Crown House, infillitrated and exposed many Ministers, MPs and technocrats’ dirty deals to Museveni.
One of the guys he has lately been investigating and written vast reports to Museveni about is an opposition veteran legislator (in Parliament since 1996) who one time extorted Shs10bn from Chinese investors under the pretext of getting them free land in his constituency. Museveni has previously hinted on this opposition politician whose arrest is a question of time.
As for his marital status, we couldn’t establish much about Hassan Mukiibi who has lately become the most feared Musevenist amongst the civil servants’ circles.