Agather Atuhaire, a journalist with Civic Space TV, has raised alarm about threats to her life after breaking the story about the cost of cars for the speaker of Parliament and her deputy that cost the tax payer Shs 2.8 billion.
Through her social media platforms, Atuhaire broke the story on how Parliament planned and executed the procurement of luxury cars for Speaker Anita Among and her deputy Thomas Tayebwa.
The story sparked resentment from the public, with many Ugandans saying that the deal was insensitive and extravagant given the current economic situation in the country.
Speaking on a Twitter Space hosted by the African Institute for Investigative Journalism (AIIJ), Atuhaire said that her life is now in danger, and she is now in hiding.
“After breaking the story, I got information from my sources at Parliament saying that I could be in danger and that they were trying to find out how I got the information,” Atuhaire said.
According to the Civic Space TV journalist, she first thought that her sources were just being timid and kept brushing off the early warnings.
“Many of them could not even talk to me over the phone, they came in person and told me that they were looking for something that they could use against me..” she added.
As the threats on her life got louder, Atuhaire said that she tried to get protection from people in her circles and contacted her family, lawyers and employers about her situation.
“I felt threatened and to make it worse, I was being addressed informally. My team sent a letter to Parliament to inform them that I am available if they want to question me, but the letter has since gone unanswered..,”Atuhaire added.
She added that what made her heart skip a beat is when her sister contacted an acquaintance in the CID to ask if there is any case that has been logged about her.
“My sister started with asking for help, and the man at the end told her, ‘You’re sisters with Agather?’ We were both shocked…,” Atuhaire narrated.
“He told my sister that I am attacking people with power, thinking that I am the only journalist in the country and that I was reckless. The man confirmed that I would be picked up,” Agather added.
This website also understands that some employees at Parliament were recently arrested for reportedly leaking information about the scandalous procurement of the said luxury cars.
A number of officials were detained, searched and many had their gadgets confiscated over the documents that were “leaked” to Agather and the media concerning the purchase of these cars.
Chris Obore, who is the director of communications at Parliament, was initially quick to write off the alleged price quotations exposed by Atuhaire, saying that the vehicles could not cost that high based on the quotations.
Obore later backtracked on his statements and supported the purchase of the vehicles.
In what some say was a reckless show of authority and power, Among was seen cruising in her personalised Mercedes Benz car as the car Parliament bought for her, the Mercedes Benz S500 L AMG Line 2022, followed closely.