Recently we reported how a local film maker went missing days after being granted bail by Buganda Road Court.
Joseph Mabirizi Busuulwa who works with Makindye based film Studio Group 7 Works was last Monday arraigned in court after spending over two weeks in detention. He was charged with among others kidnap, abduction, slavery and possession of firearms before being granted bail by Grade One Magistrate pending further investigations.
Mabirizi’s lawyer, Farouk Kiggwawo Kitaka of Nsereko Mukalazi & Co. Advocates recently told the media that charges brought against his client were tramped up and that Claire Nabagesera, the person he is accused of kidnapping is his good friend.
Kitaka said Nabagesera’s fiancé, a high ranking security official, was arm twisting the law to bring down his client since he assisted her to go to Europe.
Man behind Mabirizi’s woes
Hajj Fahad Katumba, a well placed security official is the man said to be behind the film maker’s misery.
Katumba was Nabagesera’s fiancé and by the time she escaped to Europe, their relationship had hit the rock bottom.
After suspecting that Mabirizi helped Nabagesera to leave the country, Katumba used his men to arrest him.
“My client was arrested the next morning after he returned from a trip to Europe on April 23 where he had travelled with Nabagesera,” Kitaka revealed.
“It was around 9am when armed security men raided Mabirizi’s home, they told him he had kidnapped a woman and that he had a gun in his premises. The operatives searched the whole house but failed to get any evidence implicating him to any wrong doing. They instead confiscated his two phones, laptop, Visa cards and some documents. Minutes later they handcuffed, face masked him and drove with him in a white double cabin to a safe house. They also tortured him.”
Kitaka also noted that even when Mabirizi was out of the country, people suspected to be security officers used to call his girlfriend who stays in Ndejje asking for his whereabouts.
“On their way to the safe house, the officers asked my client whether he did not know that the woman he helped to escape was a wife to a well placed person in the country and that she was pregnant for him. They asked him several times as well as accusing him of kidnap. That is when Mabirizi released that, he is being cornered because of helping Nabagesera,” said Kitaka.
The lawyer further told the media that his client was tortured for the two weeks he spent in the safe house.
Meanwhile, Katumba also used his authority to close Mabirizi’s businesses.
“Apparently Mabirizi’s home is being surrounded by security officials and his studio, movie retail shop at Luwum Street in Kampala among other businesses were also closed by Katumba. The premises are also being guarded by his men. Worse still he cannot access his bank accounts.”
Mabirizi still missing
Kitaka has told Watchdog Uganda that he last talked to Mabirizi last Tuesday and since then he has failed to get in touch with him.
“I’m afraid that they may have kidnapped him again. We have mounted a search for him.”
We are yet to ascertain whether Mabirizi was re-kidnapped, murdered or flee the country.