Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Missing MTN Uganda Engineer Could Still Be Alive - Paper
The mystery of an MTN engineer who vanished in Uganda nearly four years ago took an unexpected turn when it was recently claimed that he had been kidnapped by security services. Andrew Ndawula, the MTN engineer reportedly overhead sensitive communications between security officials in Kampala and the crew of the ill-fated helicopter which crashed and killed the Vice President of Sudan, John Garang.
John Garang was the former leader of the rebel forces in Southern Sudan, known as the SPLA who joined a US-led peace deal with the Northern Sudan and agreed an independence referendum in 2012. However, in late July 2005, Garang died after the Ugandan presidential Mi-172 helicopter he was flying in crashed. He had been returning from a meeting in Rwakitura with long-time ally President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
Both the Sudanese government and the head of the SPLA blamed the weather for the accident. There are, however, doubts as to the truth of this, especially amongst the rank-and-file of the SPLA. Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan president, claims that the possibility of "external factors" having played a role could not be eliminated.
Four days after the crash, Ndawula vanished. Prior to his disappearance, he had been reported to be unusually tired and putting in particularly long hours, once not returning home until the small hours of the morning. A graduate from Makerere University, Ndawula was MTN’s Switch Planning Engineer.
A relative of the family told The Observer newspaper that “I was told that he is often moved between countries for his own safety after he overheard security information that is very sensitive to the region. The last we heard was that he had been to Nairobi, then Kigali. He is moved around,”
If there was a conspiracy to assassinate Vice President Garang then the peace deal in Sudan which is already tense could break down completely and destabilise the region.
Ndawula’s father, Kigongo-Musiige, however told the newspaper that he felt the information was "not concrete," but admitted that MTN officials had told him that his son might have listened to some sensitive communications.
At the time of the disappearance, there was a considerable fuss about the incident reaching to the Prime Minister's office.