Govt unaware of Journalist Etukuri’s whereabouts – Minister

Govt unaware of Journalist Etukuri's whereabouts - Minister
The New Vision Journalist Charles Etukuri

The Ministry of internal affairs is unaware of the whereabouts of New Vision Journalist Charles Etukuri, State Minister of Internal Affairs Obiga Kania has told parliament today.

The investigative journalist was reportedly kidnapped on Tuesday afternoon by five men in a Double Cabin vehicle Registration number UAH 038A, outside the New Vision offices in Industrial area. Some of his captors were reported to be dressed in military fatigue.

New Vision supposes that Etukuri could have been abducted in connection to a series of investigative stories that he recently worked on. His last story was about the death of an investor, a Finnish national who died at Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala. The story implicated some operatives attached to the Internal Security Organisation-ISO in the death of the Finnish tycoon is Teräsvuori Juha.

Teräsvuori had traveled to Uganda with the Finnish politician Suvi Linden to meet the head of Internal Security Organization Col. Fred Bagyenda. The story stated that although security agencies claimed that deceased died after inhaling drugs, Linden had told Saturday Vision that the deceased was not taking drugs.

In the same article, it was reported that Teräsvuori died a day after he was arrested in an operation led by the Internal Security Organization officers Joel Agaba in Entebbe on Monday, February 5, 2008. He was arrested on accusations that he had travelled into the country on a forged clearance letter by Bagyenda and later set free. He died a day later.

His peers suspect that the story could have annoyed members of the Internal Security Organisation. But Minister Obiga Kania told Parliament that Police does not know his whereabouts as yet. He added that efforts are being made to find the missing journalist.

Obiga’s statement came after Members of Parliament raised questions about the kidnap.

Govt unaware of Journalist Etukuri's whereabouts - Minister
President Museveni greeting Journalist Charles Etukuri at State House entebbe

Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo said the government should produce the journalist in court if he has committed any crime. He says although the internal affairs Minister claims they are not aware, Etukuri was abducted in broad daylight and vehicle registration number of those who abducted him also available.

Babirye Mary Kabanda, the Masaka Municipality MP said the government has the mandate to ensure that the safety of Journalists is guaranteed.

Kaps Hassan Fungaroo the Obongi County MP also tasked Government on the whereabouts of another journalist Rev. Isaac Bakka, who was reported missing in October last year and has never been found.

Obiga Kania said he will take up the matter of Bakka, but told the MPs to be patient as Police search for the whereabouts of Etukuri.

Adolf Mwesige, the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs told the house that he was only learning of the matter from legislators.

URN