Socialite Brian Kirumira says Mafias are after him following his closeness to President Museveni.
Bedridden socialite Brian Kirumira has said his life is in danger, not just because of ill-health but, he fears, at the hands of a string of “enemies” he has made.
Better known as Bryan White, Mr Kirumira, 35, said he fears he might be “gunned down like they did to [former Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim] Abiriga because his closeness to President Museveni and the operations he was engaged in deprived some people of big budgets”.
“My wife can’t even come home at a time I need her most when I’m terribly sick,” he said. “These people, attempted to kidnap my child and trailed her from school but we foiled their plans.”
He did not name the people he claims are after his life, only suggesting they were ‘mafias’ in political circles and security agencies who were “envious” and assumed that he had been receiving “a lot of money from the Big Man [President Museveni]” for his operations.
Among the operations, he cited camping in Arua in 2018 during the ill-fated Arua Municipality by-election campaigns that saw the killing of Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi’s driver Yasiin Kawuma and the maiming of 34 others during arrest and while in military detention.
“There were dozens of these guys who had been recruited by [South Sudan vice president] Riek Machar to fight against President Kiir,” said Bryan.
“These people were promised money to risk their lives in South Sudan but they did not get anything. Eventually, they started escaping back home and they were coming with weapons,”he claimed.
“It’s these kinds of dangerous criminals I was rehabilitating. I took all this risk for the country because if we did not rehabilitate them, they could have been dangerous to their community.”
Bryan said the former rebels brought weapons as proof of having been fighters. The cache of ammunition and guns were surrendered to ‘Afande Night.’
Afande Night is an alias used by one of the special operations agents in President Museveni’s security detail.
But the guns, he said, caused more issues as “some of these people” accused him of buying the weapons and “making up stories to con the President.” He admitted that his assignments for the state were clandestine.
“I had a hard time trying to rehabilitate criminal gangs because people were sabotaging the programme because rehabilitating criminals means there are certain [operation] budgets you are entering; you are offsetting police, ISO, CMI and they become your enemies.”
Access to President blocked
Bryan reached out to this newspaper seeking to tell his story. At 10am on Wednesday, this reporter arrived at his plush mansion in Buziga.
In the garage-turned-reception hall sat a young woman. Shortly after, she was summoned and after about 15 minutes of waiting, came our turn.
In the living room, the young woman was finishing up fitting of a pulse oximeter on Bryan’s fingertip. She adjusted the nasal prongs and was done. A tall gas cylinder stood at the corner, the tubes from it delivering oxygen to Bryan, who was tucked in a six-by-six foam mattress on the floor.
“I do not know what is paining me, several tests have not revealed anything so they have taken samples of tissues for testing in the UK,” Bryan said.
He said he feels chest pain and breathing difficulties and at times begin to sweat profusely while tearing. He was in Nakasero Hospital for two weeks before he asked to be discharged and treated from home as they awaited results from the tests.
“I spent over Shs14m in two weeks, but I was just on painkillers to stabilise,” Bryan, who denied allegations that he was faking illness to evade the law for his troubles, said.
He insisted he has not been getting any money from the President despite the impression his operations created. He said the “mafia including politicians who use criminal gangs” have taken interest in him because his programmes frustrated them.
Others, he added, accused him of not sharing money he allegedly receives from State House. Veering back to the rebel story after showing a CCTV clip of a suspected intruder into his home, he said he housed the former rebels as they waited to meet the President.
“But when we went to State House, I could see that the President was suspicious of me. He spoke to the people in Lugbara and summoned Investment minister Evalyn Anite to translate some but it seems it went well so he promised these rebels startup capital to rehabilitate them.”
But the Shs10m promise to the 13 men is yet to be fulfilled.
“These rebels want that money, they are on my case. Yet all my attempts to access the President have been blocked,” he said. “Whenever I try, they just tell me he is bathing, you call the following day, the same thing.”
But Don Wanyama, the senior presidential press secretary, said State House is not aware of Bryan’s alleged activities despite the socialite until recently being guarded by Special Forces Command (SFC), an elite force tasked with the protection of the presidency.
“I personally wasn’t aware of his dealings,” Mr Wanyama said. “I’ve cross-checked with our human resource department, he’s not among our staff. In that case, I’m constrained to comment any further.”
Bryan said he will not resume his activities because “most of my youth rehabilitation projects like in Bukunju were grabbed by these people and failed.”
He said all he needs is for the President to guarantee his security.
Rape, torture allegations
On May 13, Bryan White, who was already facing one trouble after another, watched on TV as Stella Nandawula, a secretary at the Bryan White Foundation, accused him of sexual assault and torture.
Vivian Mutanda also joined in the accusations that have since seen Member of Parliament Agnes Taaka, the vice-chairperson of the parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, summoning Bryan.
He did not appear before the committee on June 18 as per the summons – he was in Nakasero Hospital.
“Nandawula has retracted her accusations and I know it is this [event] promoter behind these things,” Bryan said. “You can see the targeted TV, he knows the President watches NBS and they used that and a few stations he [the event promoter] can buy.”
This paper could not reach Nandawula for her retraction story as she told Ddembe radio presenter Isaac Katende, aka Kasuku, but the event promoter has threated to sue if he his name is dragged in.
“I’ve no idea what these allegations are. Most of the people accusing him are his workers,” the event promoter said.
“About meeting the President, I’m not the Principal Private Secretary. You can’t accuse me of briefing the President yet I am not the IGP nor do I work for ISO. I’m just a peasant focusing on my own life.”