Ugandan authorities arrest top academic on espionage charges

Police handcuffs,shackle

Ugandan security forces on Thursday arrested one of the country’s top academics on suspicion of espionage.

According to military spokeswoman Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso, Lawrence Muganga, vice-chancellor of the private Victoria University, was arrested in connection with espionage and illegal stay in the country.

There was no immediate comment from the university.

Muganga is perhaps Uganda’s most prominent Banyarwanda (of Rwandan ethnicity) and has acted as a spokesman for a section of Uganda’s Banyarwanda community. Earlier this year, he led a campaign to have the ethnic Rwandan community renamed Abavandimwe because he said they were being “marginalized” by the Ugandan government and denied public services such as ID cards as they are viewed as “foreigners”.

Muganga, who has published books on learning, was born in Uganda, where his family fled to refugee camps after leaving Rwanda during mass ethnic killings in the late 1950s.