Former New Vision senior journalist, Fortunate Ahimbisibwe was yesterday thrown into panic mode after a social media post on Facebook claimed he was the most hunted Tom Voltaire Okwalinga aka TVO.
A Facebook post from a one, Amani Ivan claimed that he had information from some circles that the former journalist is Uganda’s online most wanted man.
The facebook message reads: “Hey ma brother Fortunate Ahimbisibwe, last evening in my usual kafunda I overheard a group of ‘Banyabuzaare’ argue and allege that u are the most wanted #TVO. So Fortunate Batinti Ahimbisibwe how do u plead? Should I go for the bounty? If u are, then I salute u for your brilliance. If u are not, take it that there are some Ugandans who respect your intelligence to the level of what TVO is capable of. They spoke with a lot of confidence.#watch_thy_back.”
But Ahimbisibwe on Sunday rushed to respond to the post denying that he was the man behind exclusive leaks on Government, security and political activities of both NRM and FDC.
“I came out of church and found some malwa talk about me being TVO. Amani Ivan, I am not TVO. I do not have the capacity to do what he does. I find TVO a fascinating character though. I have received some private messages asking me after seeing your post. I didn’t want to honour the kafunda talk with a response but I have to do it,” Ahimbisibwe posted on Facebook.
He added: “whoever is saying this is dressing me up in a goat skin so that the ‘leopards’ can target me. This is hogwash, overzealous agents should look for TVO, catch him and stop engaging in malwa talk,” Ahimbisibwe wrote on his facebook wall in response to some of the comments.
Ahimbisibwe, who is known to have connections with Uganda’s security agencies, is currently undertaking further studies at a top journalism university in the United Kingdom. Sources told us that he is also carrying out some assignments for the State.
Efforts to talk to him were futile and he did not respond to our messages.
However, a source told us that Ahimbisibwe has recently been in touch with The Monitor newspaper for a possible editorial job upon return to the country.
In 2006, Radio Katwe, a defunct online publication, named Ahimbisibwe among the journalists that had links with security agencies who along their journalism work also do security work.
He quit active journalism in 2010 when he left The New Vision to work for a World Bank funded project at The Ministry of Education and Sports as a Communications Specialist until 2015 when he left the country for further studies.
‘Tom Voltaire Okwalinga’
For some years now, Tom Voltaire Okwalinga (also known as TVO) has been posting politically-charged information on his Facebook wall. His claim to know almost everything happening within the ruling establishment circles has earned him a lot of followers on social media.
Some time back, it was revealed that the Uganda government had asked Facebook to close TVO’s account. Facebook reportedly turned down the request, leaving security officers to embark on what has turned out to be a hard and long hunt for TVO.
Local political activists Robert Shaka and Charles Rwomushana have been previously been arrested and charged on suspicion that they were the TVO. Their cases are still pending in court.
The hunt for TVO intensified early this year after he claimed on his Facebook wall that former information Minister Jim Muhwezi had bribed city Lawyer Fred Muwema to sell Mbabazi’s secrets to the state.
Muwema said that a post by TVO on March 17 & 19 under the title ‘Betrayal in the city’ carried gross defamatory and offensive content against his person.
TVO’s Facebook post alleged that Muwema was given Shs900 million by government to compromise the election petition in which former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi was challenging the victory of Yoweri Museveni in February’s elections.
He further claimed that Muwema was the mastermind of his own chambers break-in where a number of documents, computers were reportedly stolen.
TVO still remains at large.