Christopher Aine is a man who made news for most part of the Presidential elections campaigns between June 2015 and February 2016. The son of Bush War Hero Lt. Col. Julius Aine, the younger Aine, a security aide to former presidential candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, displayed heroics, providing a captivating story that makes for a film script. From forcefully removing the pips of a police officer to escaping arrest, Aine immediately became a prize fighter’s bull, attracting the media attention and that of the powers that be.
With Shs20 million on his head, the man in his mid-30s was once ‘declared’ dead. But hardly a month later he resurfaced and behind all the hullabaloo surrounding his return there is a woman who claims to have done so much. That lady is called Ali Alwi and she talked to EagleOnline in an exclusive interview.
Below are excerpts:
At the onset of the campaigns I met John Patrick Amama Mbabazi through a friend who linked me to him. I worked on his team as a general purpose person, monitoring security and the campaign trail. John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, the Go Forward presidential candidate, trusted me, called me his daughter and I always had advance knowledge about his itinerary including the time of soliciting for voters’ signatures across the country.
It is during one of those times with that Christopher Aine, the head of Mr Mbabazi’s security team, was arrested in Jinja after he fought with a police officer, removed the officer’s epaulettes and tossed them away.
“Police blocked the roads and was beating people. Aine was incensed and had an altercation with police after which they wanted to arrest him. There was Haruna Isabirye and the then DPC Jinja but we managed to beat their detail to temporary safety,” Ms Alwi said.
According to Ms Alwi the first hotel they went to rejected them, but they managed to secure accommodation at the Nile Resort hotel, from where Ms Alwi called Nina Mbabazi to help and spirit Aine out of Jinja.
“We made a decoy and NM (Nina Mbabazi) did not take Aine out but instead we got another car that carried out the mission of smuggling him out of the hotel,” Ms Alwi says.
After the Jinja saga Aine called me and expressed fear for his life, it is then that I advised him to be careful and restrict his moves,” Ms Alwi says, adding that a few days later Aine was knocked down by a vehicle and the occupants arrested him.
Consequently, Ms Alwi says, they mounted a search for Aine in almost all police stations in and around Kampala. This was after holding a series of meetings Mbabazi’s son and daughters.
All during this time I would call the Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura to inquire about the safety of Aine. Also, at the time Aine’s relatives were incessantly calling me to ask about the whereabouts of their son, making me restless.
It is about the same time that IGP suggested I work with him; he referred me to an officer whose name I never got to know, but whom he said would assist me in my search for Aine.
“I then got a call to Jinja to go and see if Aine was there in the cells, but on arrival I was asked to produce a letter from Police Headquarters, which I obviously didn’t have. But before I could embark on trying to get it, Aine was produced in the Magistrate’s Court in Jinja. I got wind of this and quickly mobilized members of my team in Jinja, three of who agreed to stand surety for him. We paid US$100 (about Shs350.000). I also mobilized Shs2 million to have Aine released, money which was sent to my mobile phone after I made calls to Nina Mbabazi and Rachel Mbabazi,” Ms Alwi says.
After the release of Aine, Ms Alwi says they hit the Old Kayunga-Jinja road, trailed by a car whose occupants they didn’t know.
“Again, we had to summon our brains to work and branched off in someone’s backyard till dark, at about 9pm before setting off for Kampala again,” Ms Alwi says, adding that all during that time Mbabazi, his wife and lawyers Fred Muwema and Severino Twinobusingye were calling them to ensure they were safe.
On arrival in Kampala, we held a meeting at our headquarters in Nakasero where a lot was deliberated upon and Aine cautioned to ‘be careful’ with his movements. She however, said that the Go-Forward campaign operations were undermined by a ‘mean’ Mbabazi family that was not so adept at parting with money for the various assignments.
“Earlier in the meeting Aine had also complained that he had been ‘injected in the back’ and that it was aching. As a result, he was given ‘some money’ by Jacqueline Mbabazi for treatment. I don’t know how much was given to him, and have never established whether he recovered or not,” Ali Alwi says.
Asked about her other communications with Aine, Ms Alwi says that he told her he wanted to buy his mother a plot of land in Jinja, near Ms Alwi’s home.
Ntungamo beckons, Aine warns of chaos
Around that time we were set for campaigns in Ntungamo, where the Go-Forward candidate was scheduled to address a rally in the centre. By then I had committed to working with the IGP but my Go-Forward colleagues did not know about this hitherto discreet arrangement. And that explains why Aine called to inform me of the impending chaos. Also, at about the same time I received information that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporters had been given T-shirts and Shs10,000 to disrupt Mbabazi’s rally.
However, I relayed the information about the impending confrontation to the IGP, but this was not before warning Aine to avoid any situation that could lead to a confrontation. I also sought the DPC, who said his team was ready for any eventuality. This however, did not deter the chaos as shortly after the two groups were at each other; it all started earlier when a young boy who was allegedly being sent by the NRM supporters was beaten up by Aine’s group, sparking off the altercation.
According to Ms Alwi, she recorded all the incidents for her car rooftop, after Mr Mbabazi sending Aine to warn her against leaving her vehicle.
According to Ms Alwi, the next day they had a rally in Kampala, prompting her to leave for the city, leaving Mr Mbabazi heading to his hotel.
“As I headed from Mbarara to Masaka, the IGP called me at about 1am in the morning and asked me to return to Mbarara where he had camped but I told him I had to be in Kampala. I also told him that it was risky because my boss could easily find me heading back yet I had already told him (Mbabazi) that I was going to Kampala,” Ms Alwi says, adding that Mr Mbabazi knew her car, making a turnaround a suicidal undertaking.
She however, said that on arrival she changed cars, and headed back to Mbarara where she met the IGP the next day, who asked her for a report on the Ntungamo incident. It was during our meeting that the IGP received two important calls: one from Muhoozi (Major General Kainerugaba, the Commander of the Special Forces) and the other from the First Lady Mama Janet Museveni.
According to Ms Alwi, the IGP asked her to make him a report, which she did and handed it over to him, together with a CD. At the time all the members of my team who were on the list of those wanted for the chaos in Ntungamo had been arrested, save for Aine.
“But then after returning to Kampala I got information from our (Go-Forward) other members that Aine had been arrested. They then directed me to his brother’s place on Bombo Road in Kampala, where I went only to find that he was actually ‘there’” Ms Alwi says.
But before that, she added, the other members had secretly told her that Aine was a ‘mole’, planted by the NRM to spy on Mbabazi.
“I have never established whether the claim was genuine or not,” she noted.
Then the bombshell: A photo of ‘Aine’ appears on social media, indicating that he was dead.
“I won’t delve into the details and the subsequent troubles this caused for Go Forward and the government. But suffice it to say that about a month later I received a call from Tanzania, of someone purporting to be Aine,” Ms Alwi says, adding that after she had confirmed he was the one, they talked and that Aine asked her to call the IGP and inform him that Aine intended to resurface. He also reportedly said he asked her to request the IGP not to cause his arrest should he return.
“I first called the IGP but he did not pick my calls, then I called his Personal Assistant (Jonathan Baroza), who in turn informed him and after about 5 minutes he called me saying ‘tell me the good news you have’.
“I gave him all the details of the communication between me and Aine including the telephone number (+255-692-090-778) Aine had used to call me,” she says adding that after that the IGP called Aine and later called her to say ‘thank you’. He also asked me to meet him the next day at Lugogo, where he goes for exercise. I did go as instructed and after a short interaction he told me I was to travel to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
According to Ms Alwi, she didn’t even go home; she just called her relatives who delivered to her the necessary items needed for travel including her passport. This, she says, was after responding to Aine’s SOS for help assistance, which she complied with by sending Shs700, 000.
According to Ms Alwi, the police facilitated her travel following another Personal Assistant, a one Naluswa, who reportedly booked her ticket.
According to Ms Alwi, she set off for Dar on March 29, met Aine, and the two planned on how he would enter Uganda. Ms Alwi then says she returned through Entebbe Airport on March 31, after the two had agreed on the modalities for Aine’s return by road through the Mutukula border post. According to Ms Alwi, after arriving in Uganda, she then headed to the border to wait for Aine, who had reportedly left Dar immediately after their interaction and assurance that he was ‘safe’ on return.
“I tried to call the IGP to brief him about the mission but he did not pick the call, but all the same I met him at the border,” she says. Adding that it was while there that security agents who reportedly said they had been sent by Gen. Salim Saleh, speedily moved in and took Aine to a destination not known to her.
Asked how the operatives got to know about their arrangements, Ms Alwi is at a loss.
“I don’t know how they got the information, but police hadn’t realized he was the one because of how he had dressed,” she says.
Asked why she was releasing the information at this particular moment, Ms Alwi said she wanted to be paid for her services rendered, and also hinting at the ‘bounty of Shs20 million that the IGP put as a reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of Aine’.
Further probed on how she intended to deal with Mbabazi in order to get paid, Ms Alwi said: “That is another story and it will soon come out also. However, for now I just want to have this one (of Police) settled,” Ms Alwi says.
She added: “I have not communicated with Mbabazi for a long time now but I hear he is okay, looking after Mama (Jacqueline Mbabazi), who is not feeling well.”
As proof of non-communication Ms Alwi said the last time the Go- Forward team talked to her was during the presidential elections petition in the Supreme Court, when Mr Mbabazi’s sister-in-law asked her to give evidence, a request she reportedly turned down if not paid.
“I told her pay my money and I provide evidence,” she added.
On her post-return communication and relation with Aine, Ms Alwi says they have since fallen out after he failed to link her with Gen Saleh to listen to her plight.
Such is the story of Christopher Aine, the man on whose head Uganda’s biggest bounty of Shs20 million was placed by police chief Gen Kale Kayihura; Christopher Aine, the son of Bush War hero Lt .Col. Julius Aine who, since his return, reportedly stays with Gen Saleh, another Bush War Hero and brother to President Yoweri Museveni.