Early last month, the General Court Martial under the leadership of Brig. Robert Freeman Mugabe, sat and charged two soldiers and four civilians with an offense related to security contrary to the UPDF Act of 2005.
These are Lt. Isaac Makobore, 37, attached to Entebbe Air Force wing and one of few Ugandans who can fly the most feared and prized Uganda’s MiG-21 and Sukhoi Su-30MK fighter jets. The second soldier is elderly Sergeant Fulgensio Batte, 59, who is Lt. Makobore’s driver whenever he is not in the skies pounding ADF rebels in DRC.
The civilians are businessman Sam Buchanan’s son Denis Buchanan, John Bosco Nyundo, Godfrey Mukiibi alias Semakula, and Patrick Tshimanga, a Congolese refugee.
Prosecution led by Major Emmy Ekyaruhanga says between December 1, 2021 and December 5, 2021 at Entebbe Air force Military Base in Wakiso District, without authorization, the six moved and accessed the air drone wing which was an act prejudicing the security of the defense forces.
They are now on remand at Luzira Prison-for civilians and Makindye Military Police Barracks-for soldiers.
MORE TO IT THAN MEETS THE EYE
This publication has learnt that there is more to it than meets the eye. The real crime is that they are being pinned in a gold deal gone badly.
This has been alluded to in a sworn statement by Gorret Bunjo Mukiibi where she states that her husband, Mukiibi told her that he was informed by his captors that he was detained on the orders of a top Army official over an alleged gold scam deal involving unknown persons he was not aware of or at all. Mukiibi, whom we have learnt posed as a partner and a clearing agent in the said gold scam, is a son of Nalima, who’s a high ranking member of the Buganda kingdom royal family. He’s also a nephew to Major General Elly Kayanja. In fact Gen Kayanja has been attempting to meet a top army official that matters in this case albeit unsuccessful. His appointments are always curiously canceled at the last hour.
This publication has learnt that it all started around 2020 when a certain investor from Kenya (names withheld and he has since passed on under unclear circumstances as a result of this saga which is a story for another day ) approached a shrewd Kenyan national and a lawyer identified as Josphat Munyua Kariuki aka JM, aged 50, to venture into gold business in DRC and by extension Uganda and the rest of the world.
Kariuki, according to his passport number CK16359, is a resident of Kiambu, Nakuru-Kenya. His wife stays in South Africa. Kariuki was reportedly handed over about USD7 million by the now deceased investor. With this money in his pockets, Kariuki had other plans—he set out to diddle the investor.
He reportedly first saved some USD5 million somewhere, sent about USD 17000 to his wife in South Africa and later linked up with one Peter Andara and one Pinto-a Congolese-who are known to DRC army officials including a son to one of the top honchos in government.
Pinto’s task was among others to reportedly create a discharge for Kariuki’s money. More dollars were spent on them.
In DRC, Kariuki also invited Mukiibi who has always posed as his partner and a clearing agent to handle the deal together.
Karuiki would later also reportedly meet some top army officials here in Kampala to help him secure this gold from DRC. He also reportedly claimed to be in possession of huge sums of money left behind by former Libya leader Col.Muammar Gaddafi.
We are told this army official in Uganda recommended to him some known gold dealers to advise him on how to proceed. These in turn later learnt that he had no documentation to back up his claims and ignored him.
But nevertheless, one Emma Kato, a well connected known gold dealer who is also a rally driver, curiously learnt about it and would later travel to DRC at Karuiki’s approval.
At this point, DRC based Pinto, reportedly handed the rest of the process to Kato—to ensure the alleged purchased gold reach Entebbe Airport. Kato, who has since even fled the country, pocketed about USD400,000.
Unbeknownst to those in the deal, Karuiki was reportedly doing all this to prove to the investor back in Kenya that he was indeed into real gold business, yet it was all a set up as he had already tucked USD5m somewhere, an allegation this publication could not independently verify.
We are told Karuiki started crying foul how a group of Ugandans had stolen his 471kgs of gold while at Entebbe Airport. It reached a point and Karuiki became the most wanted man in Kenya for diddling the investor and he had to flee back to Uganda. Curiously, the investor developed a heart attack and succumbed. It is now his son who is following up the matter.
To prove to those who were looking for him in Kenya that he had indeed been diddled in Uganda, Karuiki reportedly ran back to the top army official here in Kampala.
This army official summoned whoever he suspected. These included Buchanan senior and another talkative-bulky brother to one of the top officials in the corridors of power who once tried politics but later cowed. All these denied wrong doing and this top army official was convinced by their explanations.
Nevertheless, this top army official ordered for a thorough probe into the matter by his aides (names withheld) with the help of CMI.
Curiously, this is how the suspects— Lt.Makobore, Sgt.Batte, Denis, Nyundo, Mukiibi, and Tshimanga were picked. It is not clear at what stage Karuiki and Emma Kato who had a task to move the alleged gold to Kampala involved them, if they ever did at all.
We are told investigators went for Buchanan’s son Denis to get back to his father, Sam, whom they badly want inside cells. There are reports that Buchanan has been asked to part with around USD100,000 to 250,000 to secure his freedom in this matter. We could not independently verify this allegation by press time.
All the suspects have denied any wrongdoing. At first, Sgt.Batte was made to plead guilty to a crime he reportedly didn’t commit. But when events of the crime were explained to him, he quickly changed his plea to not guilty, alleging that he had been asked to plead guilty in exchange for protection and some money.
FEARING ARREST, KARUIKI FLEES BACK TO KENYA
We have learnt that this top army official at the centre of unearthing the truth, recently got wind of Karuiki’s shenanigans and he wants him arrested to provide more information. Lucky enough, Karuiki was reportedly tipped off and he has since fled back to Kenya where he reportedly managed to prove to those who were after his head that indeed he was diddled by Ugandans in the gold deal.
According to court documents, the suspects are accused of accessing the air drone wing which was an act prejudicing the security of the defense forces.
The truth of the matter, according to sources, is that some secure areas at Entebbe Airport where valuable goods like gold are kept are near UPDF Air force base or even inside the base.
And sometimes these places are accessed by businessmen who are civilians.
Could these have inadvertently accessed the air drone wing as they went about Karuiki’s stage managed gold scam deal? There is even a video of Karuiki opening a box whose contents appear to be gold but one can’t prove whether it was real or fake. If they indeed accessed the air drone wing, who helped them gain access? Who is their Godfather at the Air force base or ? And what can be done to harmonize business relations between the army and civilian businessmen to avoid such scenarios—where the former turn against the latter to an extent of using ironfisted methods in case of disagreements? WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE DETAILS IN OUR SUBSEQUENT PUBLICATION. DO YOU HAVE A HOT STORY (CHEATERS, DIVORCE, VIDEOS, CORRUPTION, LAND WRANGLES, EXPOSES …ETAL) YOU WOULD LIKE US TO PUBLISH? CALL/TEXT/WHATSAPP 0777959024 OR EMAIL:email@example.com.