On October 14, at 3pm, a visibly angry Minister of security Gen. Elly Tumwine allegedly chased away Major Emmy Katabazi from the handover ceremony as the latter prepared to receive instruments of office as the new Internal Security Organization (ISO) deputy director.
Maj Katabazi who previously led ISO media desk had been the serving as agency’s liaison officer at the Ministry of Internal Affairs when President Museveni appointed him deputy and elevated him to Major.
In his remarks, Gen. Tumwine said he threw Katabazi out because he wasn’t the person appointed to occupy the office but rather Taban Amin whose name appeared in the message he received from the President.
However, Presidential adviser on military matters, Lt Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso has maintained that the substantive deputy director of ISO is Maj. Katabazi.
As confusion looms, Mr Katabazi has not taken up his new office awaiting Museveni’s clarification.
President Museveni on October 8, sacked Col. Frank Kaka Bagyenda as the head of of the spy agency replacing him with Lt. Col. Charles Oluka.
Kaka, was very close to Gen. Tumwine which explains his anger while chasing away Katabazi from the handover ceremony which Kaka snubbed.
In his tour of deputy, Kaka had no substantive deputy.
The position was being held by Col Don Mugimba in an acting position for more than 10 years.
Mr Mugimba also handed over office to Oluka not Taban Amin who Tumwine insisted is the legitimate deputy.
Tumwine had earlier informed the army spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso that Katabazi had only been promoted to the rank of Major and not appointed as she communicated in her earlier tweet.
She was forced to make a clarification on Twitter that the deputy director of ISO is Taban Amin not Katabazi.
Tumwine told the media that he acted on information he got from the Commander in Chief.
According to a high-ranking security official who saw President Museveni’s communication, Gen. Tumwine either misinterpreted the message or he is deliberately suffocating Major Katabazi.
“Security has a lot more dynamics. You might find Katabazi is liked by top dogs within,” he said after requesting that his name isn’t mentioned considering the sensitive position he holds in the military.
He explained that in the message, Museveni indicated that he appointed Col Oluka new director of ISO.
“He further said that no (1), Taban Amin is deputy in charge of West Nile. No (2) Katabazi is deputy in charge of administration,” the official added.
By virtue of their appointments they all report to the director Col Oluka as deputies.
This official said Museveni would have considered it wise to have two deputies at ISO as a way of creating more jobs.
“By the way, it is normal to find an institution with four or three or more deputies all reporting to the head,” he said.
Therefore, this security official believes that since Museveni had indicated Taban as number one, that could have confused Gen.Tumwine.
Minister Tumwine wasn’t available for a comment, but he previously said he wouldn’t entertain any question from journalists regarding this matter.
Equally, Major Katabazi couldn’t be reached.