A Ugandan Member of Parliament (MP) and former minister in President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s cabinet has cried out to security agencies for help after she received anonymous messages from a group of rogue and ‘rebel’ security officers threatening to harm her if she does not give them money and push for improvement in their welfare.
The ‘rebel’ security officers’ group identifies itself as the Association of Tired Officers in Uniform (ATOU) and they have in recent days been sending out threatening text messages and emails to MPs whom they accuse of not doing enough to legislate towards improving their working conditions.
Former State Minister for Mineral Development and Health in charge of General Duties Sarah Opendi Achieng has revealed that several messages from ATOU and a person who said his name was Congo Bajo have made it clear that she will be the next victim of the association’s illegal activities meant to push for interventions to improve security officers’ welfare.
Opendi, the vocal ex-minister who is also the Tororo District Woman MP, said that some of the threatening message came through her official Parliament email address in which the Association of Tired Officers in Uniform informed her that they were starting the pressure group to fight for themselves since, according to them, Parliament had ignored their cries for a long time.
“I received a letter on my Parliament email from the association of tired officers. It was a notice of engagement about the formation of the association as a result of Parliament’s failure to recognize their service, through improving their welfare, increasing their pay and work environment,” said Opendi.
From what she has gathered so far, the Association of Tired Officers in Uniform comprises officers of the national army, the UPDF, the Uganda Police Force, teachers and health workers.
According to the threatening messages she received, Opendi was given an ultimatum of seven days within which to send Shs10m to the association or wait and see what will happen to her for her non-compliance with the rogue group’s demands.
Speaking on Tuesday, May 24, Opendi told her colleagues that a one Congo Bajo had clearly told her to watch her movement since they were coming for her. She added: “I am now left with two days from the day of the notice. They said they will determine how to handle the matter the way they were trained. They said they know how to pull the trigger and how to give the right medication. “These are direct threats to my life; the messages were saying that I am the next target, that I should not take their warnings lightly.”
Meanwhile, Opendi has reported the matter to the police and to Security Minister Maj Gen (Rtd) Jim Muhwezi. However, reporting has not stopped the ‘rebel’ security officers from sending her the messages.
Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa has since blamed the threats on sports federations which Parliament is probing over alleged corruption.
“The one of Sarah Opendi and other MPs is related to the ongoing investigation of National Council for Sports. There are people in sports federations threatening some MPs to go slow on their investigations,” said Tayebwa.
“I don’t know whether these people know that oversight is the MPs’ role and whether they know the money they are using is appropriated by MPs.”
Tayebwa also directed police to arrest the ‘rebel’ security officers from the ATOU group since telecom companies must have all telephone numbers registered.
“We were told that all non-registered phone numbers were cut off; since Hon. Opendi has brought the number, it means you will know the criminals, or it goes on to say that numbers which are not registered are allowed to operate.”
Meanwhile, a female MP from Bobi Wine’s NUP party has also received death threats from the same ‘rebel’ security officers group, telling her she should give them money or wait for four bullets to kill her. (See Details Here).
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