Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Francis Butebi Zaake who went to Turkey on a fact-finding mission regarding embattled vlogger Fred Lumbuye, said the entire mission hit a snag after the Turkish lawyer they charged with matters went AWOL.
Zaake confirms that he spoke to the lawyer who had been sought and retained by the Ugandan community on arrival in Turkey.
The lawyer apparently assured him that he was in touch with Lumbuye who was detained inside Turkey.
“The lawyer went ahead to share with me photos of documents in the Turkish language which he said were proof that he had already begun processing asylum for Mr. Lumbuye in a safer jurisdiction,” Zaake said.
At this note, the lawyer, his name withheld billed the process at Shs250million ($71,000) which would end at Lumbuye getting the much-required asylum in a European state.
“He also said that once he is paid, he would make arrangements for us to see Lumbuye in person from his place of detention by Turkish authorities,” Zaake narrates.
He says that he urged Ugandans to raise funds for the cause under the coordination of NUP diasporas led by one Herman Ainebyona.
\“At the beginning of this week, Counsel Wameli Anthony (Head, NUP Legal) and Counsel Muwada Nkunyingi (Shadow Minister, Foreign Affairs) flew into Turkey to conduct due-diligence activities necessary to establish the exact circumstances of Lumbuye’s disappearance and where he is being detained from before any money could be paid to the Turkish lawyer,” Zaake said.
“I understand that for unclear reasons, the lawyer has declined to physically meet Counsel Wameli and Muwada ever since they set foot in Turkey although he has spoken to them on phone. Despite their diligent efforts, the two have been unable to locate Lumbuye in any of Turkey’s gazetted detention facilities, let alone speak with or see him, contrary to the Turkish lawyer’s earlier assurances. The more questions we have asked, the fewer answers we have received,” he added.
Zaake now believes that some rogue non-state actors within Turkey are participating in Lumbuye’s disappearance.
He also cast doubt on the legitimacy of the said lawyer and supposes they could be duped.
“The above background has also compelled me to think that perhaps the Turkish lawyer is not seized with all the basic information about Lumbuye’s disappearance, contrary to what I genuinely believed and communicated to you earlier.”
“I am confident that the legal efforts of Counsel Muwada and Wameli will guide all of us to the bottom of this rather puzzling matter. As you may have seen already, they are doing whatever they can to keep the public updated. I encourage the rest of us to keep comrade Lumbuye in our prayers and hope that the situation terminates in the favor of our struggle,” he added.
It is understood from the Turkish lawyer that Lumbuye is still in Turkey while some Ugandan sources have hinted that he is detained in Gulu, Northern Uganda.
However, Uganda Police have denied having Lumbuye in custody, so have the Immigrations department on Ugandan soil.
The whereabouts of Lumbuye remain only known to him as of today.