The Minister for Reliefs and Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng Hilary Onek, has disowned a twitter handle which has been deleted after commenting on the court appearance of police chief Kale Kayihura.
The account appearing in the names of the minister has been tweeting controversial things on his handle @hilaryonek attracting hostility.
During the evacuation of Ugandans from South Sudan capital Juba, the handle tweeted that the nationals had refused to be brought back home saying the army would use force.
The trending tweet was later dismissed by the army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda who said they had not forced Ugandans during the evacuation.
On August 12, the same handle lashed out at Kayihura when he refused to appear at Makindye Chief Magistrates Court for trial over torture charges.
“When one is summoned by Courts of law, CIVILITY demands that you hire Lawyers NOT Goons,” it tweeted.
It continued: “These Goons disturbing Court proceedings must be dealt with. Threatening lawyers who are doing their work is just bonkers.”
The handler then pushed his/her luck and reminded the “members of the ruling elite to embrace the truth”.
“The moment we stay quiet when something is wrong, we will become braggadocio demagogues.”
By the next day, the account was nowhere to be seen.
Onek disowns it
In a statement on Tuesday, Onek described the account as fake.
“This particular person has been impersonating me and twitting derogatory comments about the government,” the minister said.
He added: “I would like to categorically state that I have never had a twitter account and whoever is doing this is being pursued by the cybercrime division of the Uganda police.”
Dr Kizza Besigye said IGP Kale Kayihura should ‘first step down’ as he awaits trial following court summons.
“IGP Kale Kayihura and seven other officers are accused of violating citizens’ rights,” Besigye commented on Kayihura’s absence in court.
The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, on the other hand, deployed the chaotic demonstration by pro-Kayihura protesters who besieged Makindye court.
Katureebe said what happened at Makindye court was uncalled for and Institutions should be allowed to work.
Uganda Law Society also condemned the demonstration by protesters saying it was “an attack on judiciary and members of legal profession”.
“We didn’t expect police officers to be the ones shunning the law. The law of in now on test after IGP Kale Kayihura failed to appear in court,” Wilfred Niwagaba, the Shadow Attorney General, was quoted to have said.
Former Prime Minister Apollo Nsibambi said such attacks interrupt the independence of the Judiciary.
Nsibambi appealed to the pro-Kayihura team to follow provisions of the law and allow the courts to perform their duties undisturbed.
Nsibambi told URN that courts should be given a chance to carry on with their work without being undermined or obstructed by anyone.
Government later issued a statement through the minister of Internal Affairs Gen Jeje Odongo apologising for the demonstration and promising that police would be tried for brutality.