Home NATIONAL Former Guantanamo Bay Prisoner ‘Tonny’ Kiyemba Charged With Terrorism in Uganda

Former Guantanamo Bay Prisoner ‘Tonny’ Kiyemba Charged With Terrorism in Uganda

Jamal Kiyemba

Former Guantanamo Bay inmate Jamal Kiyemba appeared before the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala Tuesday on three terror-related charges.

Kiyemba, also known as Abdullah or Tonny Kiyemba, was committed to the International Crimes Division by Buganda Road Court on one charge and has now been charged before Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khaukha on an amended charge sheet.

He is accused of rendering support to a terrorist group, belonging or professing to belong to a terrorist group, and soliciting or inviting support for a terrorist organization. The court heard that between 2021 and January 2022, while in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kiyemba belonged or professed to belong to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a designated terror organization, by recruiting persons for it, along with others still at large.

The court also heard that Kiyemba solicited or invited support for ADF on January 29th, 2022, at the Old Taxi Park in Kampala City. The evidence before the court, which Uganda Radio Network has seen, indicates that Kiyemba has been a radical Muslim since 1999 and has openly expressed his admiration, belief, and support for terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Alshabaab, and ADF.

According to the summary of the case, in 2006, Jamal Kiyemba got in touch with Jamil Mukulu and joined his ADF terrorist organization. He became an active member of the ADF involved in recruiting and training the terrorist organization.

“He became an active member of the ADF involved in recruiting and training of the terrorist organization”, reads the summary of the case. The records before the court further indicated that in January 2022, Kiyemba was at Ben Kiwanuka Street in Kampala, heading to Bugiri District, and he shouted “Long Live ADF” and advocated for people to support ADF lest blood continues to shed in Kampala.

He then went to the Old Taxi Park, where he boarded a taxi heading to Jinja-Iganga-Kamuli and was arrested therein. While under arrest, he said he was a member, supporter, and recruiter of ADF, and that his most recent recruitment was his son Jamil Abdallah Buyondo. The prosecution, led by Jacqueline Okui, has charged Kiyemba after recording a charge and caution statement from the police.

The charges have been read to him, and he has been advised not to say anything. The judge later asked the prosecution and defense lawyers to make written submissions as to whether she should go ahead and confirm the charges against Kiyemba and forward his case file to a panel of three judges for trial. She has given these parties timelines and said she will deliver her ruling on the confirmation of charges on April 25th, 2023. Background Kiyemba went to the United Kingdom in 1998 at the age of 20 to study for a degree in pharmacy.

He was, however, arrested in Pakistan in 2002 together with a US operative and suspected Al Qaeda terrorists while trying to enter Afghanistan.

Kiyemba was reportedly born Anthony Kiyemba and converted to Islam following his father’s death and changed his name to Jamal Kiyemba.

According to online sources, he was granted an indefinite stay in Britain before he ended up in Pakistan. He was then detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for four years before being released in 2006 after Muslim activists intervened on his behalf.

Records show that Kiyemba was later released and compensated with a whopping one million Euros (Shillings 3.7 billion) for false imprisonment and human rights abuse before being deported to Uganda.

The records also show that Kiyemba was subsequently arrested in Uganda in April 2015 in relation to the murder of state attorney, Joan Namazzi Kagezi on March 30, 2015. Unknown assassins riding on motorcycles gunned down Kagezi on her way home in Kiwatule, a Kampala City suburb.

Despite the arrest of several suspects, none has been tried successfully and convicted for the murder. In 2022, President Yoweri Museveni directed the Attorney General to work on the extradition of Kagezi’s killers but failed short of mentioning their names and where they are found.

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