Uganda Record Reports Arrest of Theatre Artist
FORMER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF UGANDA, Kalundi Robert Serumaga, ARRESTED
|Radio One's Serumaga arrested, taken to JATT safe house|
|Radio One's talk show host Kalundi Robert Serumaga has been arrested.
Serumaga, who hosts the Radio One evening talk show Spectrum, was arrested at Spear House in Kampala on Friday night where he was a panelist on a WBS TV show Kibazo on Fridayhosted by Peter Kibazo.
Three security operatives in plain clothes and carrying walkie-talkie military radios, whisked off Serumaga to a waiting car and drove him off to Kololo hill to a safe house operated by the Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce or JATT.
Details of how Serumaga was treated are still sketchy, but a family member said on Saturday that he was harassed by the operatives.
The Kololo JATT safe house which shares a wall with the residence of the Danish ambassador to Uganda, featured in several Kampala media reports last year as a torture centre used by the JATT.
However, by lunchtime Kampala time, Serumaga had been take to the Central Police Station in Kampala to be interrogated.
Serumaga, a bold, eloquent, and well-informed radio talk show and theatre dramatist, hosted and appeared to have traumatised President Yoweri Museveni with a series of awkward questions during the 2001 presidential election campaign, leading some sources to say that Museveni vowed never to return to that show after his ordeal at the hands of Serumaga.
On Friday night, Sept. 11, the show featured Serumaga and two other regular panelists Daily Monitor columnist Bernard Tabaire and former State House political intelligence officer, Charles Rwomushana.
During his contribution, Serumaga noted that the government had deployed heavily in Bugerere to ostensibly protect the minority Banyala ethnic group from the much larger Baganda ahead of a visit to Kayunga by Buganda's Kabaka Ronald Mutebi scheduled for (and since cancelled) Saturday Sept. 12, 2009.
Serumaga, seated to the left of the screen next to Rwomushana, asked that if this was how much President Museveni cared about the rights of minority people, how come then in 1993 when the then Maj. Gen. David Tinyefuza, Maj. Gen. Elly Tumwine, and others tried to ethrone Crown Prince John Barigye as Omugabe (king) of Ankole, Museveni had not then rushed a similar military force to Mbarara to shield the royal sub-group, the Bahima, from the wrath of the majority Bairu who had rejected the restoration of Ankole's old monarchy.
Serumaga, during Friday night's show, also spoke out against Museveni's methods of work and said the problems Uganda is facing today stem from "the poor upbringing of Museveni", a man who does not respect institutions and the concept of the state.
Several times, Serumaga emphasised his charge of Museveni has having had a "poor upbringing."
Most of the soldiers, officers, and intelligence officers of the Presidential Guard Brigade (PGB), Museveni's 12,000-man personal bodyguard are from the Bahima sub-ethnic group and most of them yearn for the restoration of the Ankole monarchy.
As such, Museveni, who has always feared an assination attempt from among the PGB, is extremely sensitive to any discussion that could even remotely arouse resentment or questioning by these bodyguards.
Tinyefuza and Tumwiine are both Bahima. Museveni is not.