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Kipoi’s journey from school dropout, witchcraft, MP, rebel and extradition

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Former Bubulo West Member of Parliament Tony Kipoi was on Saturday handed over to the Ugandan authorities at Entebbe airport upon his extradition from Botswana, southern Africa.

He was arrested in the first week of February on charges of obtaining over Shs113 million from four Tswana by false pretense. While in southern Africa, Kipoi passed off as a ‘witchdoctor’ capable of treating and healing all manner of illness and problems.

But back home he was wanted by the Ugandan authorities on treason charges related to his activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Our reporter met up with a source who has known Mr Kipoi from way back in 1995 at Bubulo SSS, where they were Senior Three lads. At the time he was commuting from his home village of Bugeboro to school before he rented in Bubulo near the school where the source became closer to him.

Anyhow, in order to understand Kipoi better, then one needs to trace his ways from way back in school.

Below is his story as told by the source

At school Kipoi was shrewd guy who apart from academics, participated in sports, music and drama.

“In drama, he always took up lucrative roles which depicted him as a character with power: family head, business tycoon, policeman, army officer/man, minister, ambassador and President, among others, the things he usually fantasized about,” the source said.

Indeed, in one of the drama pieces, there was a character of a thief which all other students refused to take up and Kipoi offered to take up the task which he successfully acted when the act was finally played at the end of term. However, he never got a chance to lead anyone in real life at school, the source said.

Months later, the source said, the shrewd Kipoi was expelled from Bubulo SS in his Senior 4, upon having been arrested with a forged meal card. He was also not paying school fees.

Upon his expulsion from Bubulo SS, Kipoi joined Mulatsi SS, where he completed his UCE. His transcript indicates so.

Later, he was arrested in 1997 with others when they hired a taxi driver and robbed him of the car, leaving him tied to a tree.

They were intercepted at Malaba border arrested and brought to Mbale where they charged and remanded to Malukhu prison.

Having spent some time at Malukhu, they one night put blankets in the cells on fire, made an alarm and when the wardens came to their rescue, Kipoi and a few other prisoners escaped.

After the prison break, Kipoi went to Nairobi, before finding his way to South Africa.

In South Africa, the source said, Kipoi worked in cahoots with other Ugandans to ‘bewitch’ and then pretend to heal people; amassing a lot of money through trickery.

In 2010 he came back to Uganda and contested in the NRM primaries for parliament to represent Bubulo West and defeated the incumbent, Independent candidate Fred Bukeni.

At nomination, Kipoi, then also named Nsubuga, presented a Makerere University certificate of admission that showed he had successfully sat and passed mature entry examinations.

One of the competitors in the race, Ronnie Walukhu, contested Kipoi’s victory in the High Court and won. However, when Kipoi appealed against the ruling, the appellant court ruled in his favor, maintaining him as an MP.

In 2013, he was allegedly arrested in Congo and accused of treason, but he refuted the claims, saying he had fled the country because of bad governance and would only return when President Yoweri Museveni leaves power.

In the same year, he lost his Parliamentary seat upon missing sixteen consecutive Parliamentary sittings, a ground that provides for someone to be expelled from Parliament.

Kipoi has since reportedly been oscillating between the DRC and South Africa, but was wanted by the Ugandan authorities to answer the charges of treason.

Unfortunate for Kipoi, the journey he made to Botswana was to turn sketchy, as he was arrested and plans made for his extradition to Uganda.

And, today morning, Kipoi, in the company of alleged accomplice Robert Kitale, was brought to Uganda under tight security aboard a private plane and handed over to Military Police at Entebbe Airport, bringing the search for the hitherto elusive Kipoi to an end.



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