Col Kaka’s Panorama Cottages turns into a Safe House

A trail of blood oozing through Kalangala Central Forest Reserve and, the occasional sighs and sounds from palatial but renown places within the forest introduce you to part of a forest situated partially in Lutoboka Village.

A handful are accepted to get into and through. Those cleared must be free of tremble, none should ask about the happenings.

A man, seemingly in pain is heard over the top, crying out for help. “Woowe nze, munsonyiwe.” Literally meaning “please, forgive me.” from one of the cottage situated in Lutoboka sharp corner, connecting to Kalangala’s Gate way, the docking pier in Lutoboka.

The noise comes from Panorama cottages, a recreation center owned by Col Frank Bagyenda Kaka.

Kaka owned the cottages way before he joined the Directorate of Internal Security as Director General. He was a businessman, promoting tourism in the Island District of Kalangala.

In June 2011, Kaka together with a host of Kalangala Fishermen led by Mr Patrick Musenda, started the Kalangala Fisheries Organization with a sole aim of fighting illegal fishing.

The Organization publicized Kaka’s purported fight against a vice that he said, “Led to Uganda’s economic sabotage and recession.”

Later Kaka regained ties with close allies, Gens Salim Saleh and Mugisha Muntu. “They occasionally would get to Kalangala and strategize from the Panorama Cottages,” a source close to Kaka intimated to Entebbe Post.

The Cottages later, with help of the security organs became a security outfit, holding intelligence reports for the South Buganda region. It also turned into a center for unification of all people wishing to cross from other political parties to the ruling National Resistance Movement.

“By 2015, all the suspicious cadres would be brought here for some induction and retreat. Kaka would then write a report that would be shared amongst the top leaders of the party” says one of the employees at that time.

In 2017, President Museveni named Col Kaka, the Director General of the Internal Security Organization, replacing Brig. Ronnie Balya. Kaka was named shortly after General Katumba Wamala was dropped from the position of the Chief of Defense Forces.

In his first task, the blue eyed man together with Gen Henry Tumukunde, then Minister of Security ensured the downfall of Gen Kale Kayihura and his accomplices including Abdullah Kitatta, the former Patron of Boda Boda 2010 outfit.

Nemesis of the disposed officers including Paddy Sserunjoji alias Sobi were named in key positions including at key safe houses the country had.

At that point, Kaka, then Director General of the Internal Security Organization, who owned islands, Lwamayiba, Ssemuganja and land on Funve and Bunyama Island found it wise to use Lwamayiba as a detention center.

Several temporary structures were erected at Lwamayiba, soldiers taken as the place turned into a detention center. “While there, you cannot leave since there are no boats that are used for transport. Soldiers there determine whether you are under rehabilitation or punishment,” one of the victims of the harassment says.

The area according to a one Musa, the LC1 Chairperson of Lwamayiba landing site, on Kaka’s detention center was not enough prompting the forwarding of some suspects and officers to Panorama cottages, a facility situated on Kalangala’s main Island, owned by Col Kaka.

While there, soldiers and operatives from ISO drive a white Toyota Premio with guns and army jackets. “At times, they would even stage road blocks.” One of the island residents told Entebbe Post.

Dozens of Ugandan citizens, brought to the facility have on several occasions been seen running away from Panorama cottages, through the Kalangala Central Forest Reserve.

“Unfortunately, they leave while not aware of the direction they are taking since they move in a forest with no direction to safety. At the end of the day, they are rearrested,” says Ronald Kyeswa, a resident at Lutoboka fishing Village where the facility is.

The institution of detention centers and safe houses by the Internal Security Organization in Kalangala caused an outrage as leaders in the District remained disgusted on the poor handing of nearby communities by soldiers.

“One time, most fishermen who went fishing close to the safe houses were arrested. Two had to jump off and drowned. This is not what we want. If any such facility is to be introduced, there must be standard operating procedures within the area to avoid inconveniencing our people,” Tadeo Mwesige, a District councilor told Entebbe Post.

Col Kaka did not pick our calls when contacted about the matter.

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