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Police Grill Winnie on LRA

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th July 2003 03:00 AM

MBARARA Municipality MP Winnie Byanyima was yesterday interrogated for two hours over reports that she supplies logistics to Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels

MBARARA Municipality MP Winnie Byanyima was yesterday interrogated for two hours over reports that she supplies logistics to Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels

By Solomon Muyita

MBARARA Municipality MP Winnie Byanyima was yesterday interrogated for two hours over reports that she supplies logistics to Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.

The CID accused her of supplying mobile phones, laptop computers, cameras and other communication gadgets through various people like the late James Opoka, sometime last year.

Wearing a red kitenge dress, red shoes with a green headgear, Byanyima arrived at the CID headquarters in Kampala at 12:25pm in a jovial mood, accompanied by nine MPs, lawyers, relatives and friends.

She is also accused of issuing a statement on February 18 that former ISO director, Brig. Henry Tumukunde, told a meeting in western Uganda that the Government was ready to arm anti-Rwanda government forces.

“At first it was PRA (People’s Redemption Army), now it is LRA. It seems these people want to link me to every rebel group in the country,” she said before referring a crowd of wellwishers and journalists to her lawyers for details.

Her two attorneys, Erias Lukwago and Abdul Katuntu (MP Bugweri County), said the CID also recorded a statement from her on the alleged “seditious” remarks she made in February.

“They have recorded two statements from her—a charge and caution statement—for treason and a general statement for sedition. It appears they want to proceed with treason. They just told us to leave after recording the statements,” Lukwago said. Katuntu said the CID accused Byanyima of channelling, through one Simon Tolit, logistics to the LRA on various dates.

Tolit, a former Uganda Revenue Authority employee and Reform Agenda supporter, was remanded last year for reportedly financing LRA.

Byanyima was interrogated by the Assistant Commissioner Crime, Edison Mbiringi, CID officer for JAT, Elly Womanya and Kabuchiriro, in charge of Serious Crime. “Her file will soon be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution for advice,” a source said on condition of anonymity.

But Mbiringi said the Police would summon her again if she was needed. Her father Boniface Byanyima, her mother Gertrude, sister Edith and her three-year-old son Anselm waited outside the CID headquarters gate as she was quizzed.

“We have come to show solidarity for our colleague.

“We want to know what is going to happen to her,” some MPs kept commenting, as they waited for Byanyima at the CID reception.

“Today Uganda is so intolerant and unpredictable. The same things will happen to us tomorrow,” Ssebuliba Mutumba (Kawempe South) said.

Byanyima returned recently from international conferences after about four months.

She was on January 13 acquitted of illegal possession of firearms.

Winnie Byanyima’s husband, former presidential candidate in 2001, Colonel Kizza Besigye, is living in exile.

Police Grill Winnie on LRA

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