In a captivating narrative of what could potentially be one of the most intelligent and audacious tales ever told, an ordinary boda boda rider has etched his name in Uganda’s history as the first person to deceive and swindle the three most likely Presidential candidates out of their hard-earned money.
Up until January 26, NRM day in Jinja, Moses Ssimbwa may have been an unknown figure to many. However, he seized the opportunity to address President Museveni and the gathered crowd, all while secretly revelling in his remarkable achievement of cunningly extracting cash from the pockets of these influential men.
In 2022, Ssimbwa allegedly contacted Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye and informed him of an incident where he was hit by a police patrol vehicle while observing the activities of the Forum for Democratic Change during the 2021 elections. Ssimbwa had been a devoted member of the Najjanankumbi outfit, particularly during Besigye’s leadership. Upon receiving this news, Besigye dispatched envoys to verify Ssimbwa’s claims. True to his word, the young opposition supporter was discovered at Jinja Hospital, receiving treatment for his injuries, including broken limbs.
In response, Besigye promptly utilized his resources to denounce the government for what he perceived as excessive persecution of opposition supporters. He generously provided an undisclosed sum of money to aid in Ssimbwa’s rehabilitation.
Capitalizing on the information shared by Besigye on social media, the top leaders of the National Unity Platform (NUP), led by Deputy Mouthpiece Alex Mufumbiro, reached out to Ssimbwa. They convinced him to lend his bravery to the cause by publicly speaking about the ordeal he had already narrated to them. This proposition was incredibly thrilling for Ssimbwa, who had initially believed that his scheme would only provide temporary financial relief.
As expected, Ssimbwa, who spoke calmly, occasionally delegated his more assertive wife to speak on his behalf. He stated that he was willing to cooperate, but only if certain conditions were met.
Firstly, he demanded that the authorities at Kamwokya assist him in settling his rent arrears, which he claimed amounted to a staggering 18 months at Ugx 200,000 per month.
Additionally, he requested medical support for his deteriorating leg, which he believed was in need of proper medical attention.
Furthermore, Ssimbwa allegedly insisted that his wife be provided with a starting capital of 5M to support their family, as the accident had left him unable to work.
During the meeting, Ssimbwa made every effort to convince Mufumbiro that he had been hit by a police patrol vehicle while they were pursuing Bobi Wine, not Besigye’s FDC as initially claimed by the former Museveni physician in a tweet. He explained that an unidentified police officer had warned him not to participate in Bobi Wine’s rallies, but he disregarded the advice due to his strong admiration for the musician-turned-politician.
Upon their return to Kamwokya from Jinja, Bobi Wine and his team were delighted with the outcome and unanimously agreed to fulfil Ssimbwa’s conditions unconditionally. As a gesture of gratitude, Ssimbwa offered to travel to The Hague to testify against President Museveni in the ICC case.
During the Human Rights Accountability conference in Nairobi, Ssimbwa was provided with the cash he had requested and received further expert assistance at the hospital.
Gen. Museveni the next target
When the money received from Kamwokya dried up and calls for more were no longer yielding, Ssimbwa hatched a more daring plan, this time targeting Museveni. He reached out to the President’s close Aide who hails from Busoga and told his story, this time twisting it to imply that although he had been knocked by a vehicle, it was a sugar can-carrying truck and not a police car as he had first claimed.
He said he was coerced to accuse the government by the opposition, particularly NUP in exchange for some losses change. The said Museveni Aide who saw an opportunity to earn praise upon himself convinced Ssimbwa to meet the President and make this very damning confession.
As usual, Ssimbwa asked for more money, this time demanding a lot more than both Besigye and Bobi Wine had paid him. On top, he also asked that his leg be rectified, which conditions were gladly agreed to.
On the 26th, of January this year, Ssimbwa finally made his speech before the President and the general public in which he apologised for soiling the good image of the government through duress. Besides what he had been promised already, he demanded that he be granted protection from the state for the people who were committing to exposing him to harm him. He also accused the opposition of being behind the abductions in the drones, promising to give more information in seclusion with the President.
One man refuses to fall prey
Just as Ssimbwa was smiling in victory as his plan started to pay off without any challenge, one man out of the blue the dust. This man was Dr Nico Schoonderwoerd, the man at the forefront of the petition against President Museveni at the ICC. Nico had been forwarded Ssimbwa as a possible witness in the human rights violation case at the Hague-based judicial institution.
Smelling a rat, the Amsterdam-based activist called Ssimbwa to interrogate him about his allegations. Ssimbwa, however, failed to put meat on his story of persecution by the police. Besides, he couldn’t verily state the month and date of the accident, raising more questions.
” When I asked him more questions he had no answers to, he hung up on me. When I called again, his wife picked and for her, she claimed that the accident happened in March 2021.” Dr Nico explained in a video on his TikTok account.
Surprisingly, March was way after the elections and Bobi Wine was never in Jinja, let alone holding a procession there.
Upon these inconsistencies, a decision was made to scrap Ssimbwa’s name from the list of witnesses for the case at Hague.
As the different parties continue gnashing their teeth over the betrayal, Ssimbwa is a happy man satisfactorily enjoying the fruits of his hard con.