How, Why CMI Raided ISO Safe Houses

Military intelligence operatives on Thursday night raided two safe houses run by the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) in Kyengera in Waksio District and Kisaasi near Bahai Temple, in Kampala.

According to security sources, all soldiers guarding the safe houses were arrested and taken for interrogation.
The sources further said the raid came after President Museveni summoned ISO director general Col Kaka Bagyenda on Wednesday for a meeting at State House.

“He came back tensed up. We don’t know what happened,” the source said.

President Museveni had earlier on Tuesday met all security chiefs, including Col Bagyenda, but the ISO boss was again summoned to State House the following day.

ISO has been accused of running safe houses to torture people and the Security minister, Gen Elly Tumwine, had confirmed that the spy agency has safe houses but denied that they are used to torture people.

Sources say, Col Kaka didn’t come to office yesterday, sparking speculation that he had been taken for interrogation.
He told this newspaper yesterday: “I can’t talk to you now.”

The raid on the safe houses came two months after eight ISO operatives working under Cyber Unit went in hiding after their colleague, Mr Simon Peter Odongo, was arrested and charged in the military court.

After Mr Odongo’s arrest, both ISO and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) refused to comment about the arrest.

An earlier report written by Odongo’s colleague who formerly worked under the same unit had accused him of concocting intelligence reports.

Col Bagyenda said last month that he was not at liberty to discuss circumstances under which Mr Odongo was arrested.

“I don’t want to discuss that matter because it is before court and let the law take its course,” he said in a telephone interview.

The joint operation of UPDF, ISO and Chieftaincy for Military Intelligence (CMI) arrested Mr Odongo from his home in Bweyogere-Kirinya, Wakiso District, after a short gunfire exchange.

When Brig Richard Karemire, the army spokesperson, was contacted on the arrest of Mr Odongo, he referred the matter to ISO.

“We are not allowed to comment or speak about matters that are before court. This man was arrested and his case is being handled by the court. If you need some more information into the matter, I would rather you speak to ISO where he was working,” Brig Karemire said in a telephone interview.

Sources said there has been tension at ISO headquarters after more than 100 operatives, including 10 directors, were suspended.

Col Bagyenda was appointed the ISO director general in 2017. He succeeded Brig Ronnie Balya, who is now Uganda’s Ambassador to South Sudan. Before his appointment as ISO boss, Col Kaka had been working as a businessman for 25 years, running hotels in Kalangala District.

Days after his appointment President Museveni praised him for doing reconnaissance and gathering intelligence that helped the NRA rebels to successfully attack Masindi Barracks in 1984.

Background
Safe houses
ISO has been accused of running safe houses to torture people and the Security minister, Gen Elly Tumwine, had confirmed that the spy agency has safe houses but denied that they are used to torture people.

Credit: Daily Monitor

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