Tapes Probe – Mbabazi Aide Slams Police

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s camp has reacted angrily to reports that a police detective has confessed to leaking sensitive police recordings to them.

Police sources told us last week that Detective Ronald Poteli had confessed that he stole recordings of police chief Kale Kayihura’s conversations with NRM youths. However, a source close to the prime minister says there was no confession, but fabrication by a police force keen to implicate Jacqueline, the wife of Prime Minister Mbabazi.

Our source, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the investigation into the missing police tapes was intended to gather evidence against Jacqueline. The source was reacting to our story, “Kayihura spy tapes: detained cop speaks, which detailed Poteli’s reported confession.

The source said police has a file on Jacqueline, despite repeated denials by police authorities last week. Sources familiar with the interrogations say that on April 7, Poteli confessed to stealing the recordings in exchange for Shs 25m from someone allegedly working for Jacqueline Mbabazi.

Until his arrest, Poteli was attached to the political crimes desk at the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID). Police sources quoted Poteli as saying that he got some of the money from someone who works at the NRM headquarters on Plot 10, Kyadondo road.

But our source in the prime minister’s camp said the direction of the investigation showed it was clearly aimed at finding a way of linking Jacqueline to the missing tapes “if at all they were stolen.”

“It is a guided investigation and we all know what their [police] intention is,” the source said.

Mbabazi’s camp also disputes the notion that the “tapes were stolen”. Our source argues that by focusing on this, the police has managed to divert public attention from the content of the audio recordings.

This is in apparent reference to the fact that in the tapes, Kayihura sounds more like a party cadre spending money on a political party matter than a national, non-partisan vanguard of law and order. At least two audio recordings have leaked publicly and they are related to Mbabazi’s alleged political mobilization activities to bolster his undeclared presidential bid.

In both recordings, Kayihura features prominently. In one of the recordings, he is talking with NRM youths from Buganda he sounds deeply concerned that Mbabazi’s political activities might destroy NRM and possibly endanger the country. But our Mbabazi camp source said:

“Remember even President Museveni played some of the recordings in a meeting at State House which means that they are available. People should not be in trouble because of the recordings.”

Jacqueline file:

The source insisted that a police file on Jacqueline was opened: “I am not telling you rumours. We have seen it [file] with our own eyes. You do your investigation as a journalist and don’t solely rely on what police tells you.”

The source said the file had been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further review but “something must have happened along the way.”

Jane Okua, the spokesperson in the DPP’s office, said her office had not received such a file and there was no record to show for it.

“We have not received it. If it was here, I would have known because every file that comes to the DPP is first registered with the registry. No one has seen such a file,” Okua said on Saturday.

Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said in a statement last week that no case file against Jacqueline Mbabazi, had been opened yet, relating to the missing tapes.

Enanga, however, did not rule out Jacqueline being summoned, provided there’s new information that is criminal in nature that implicates her.

Our attempts to get to Enanga to comment about the latest developments were futile.

Source : The Observer

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