“He was scared after there were rumours that he was trailing Anywar [Kitgum Woman MP] shortly before she was involved in an accident. He thought that perhaps people now know where he lives,” our source told us on Friday.
On April 28, Arinaitwe, with the help of a motley gang of security operatives, intercepted Besigye’s vehicle at Mulago roundabout as he attempted to drive to town. Like a rehearsed Hollywood blockbuster scene, video footage captured a hooded man using a hammer to break the window of Besigye’s Land Cruiser vehicle.
Arinaitwe joined the fray, using the butt of his pistol to break the glass of Besigye’s vehicle before incessantly dousing the FDC leader with pepper spray. With remarkable ease, Arinaitwe later dragged Besigye out of the vehicle before bundling him on a patrol pickup.
Days later, Besigye was rushed to a Nairobi hospital with impaired vision until he recovered weeks later. It’s against this backdrop that Arinaitwe sought to get out of the limelight. His transfer to Kabalye Police Training School has been received with ambivalence.
A source says he cuts quite a forlorn figure at the school, where junior police officers loathe him and often hold him in contempt for the incident.
Arinaitwe, though, seems to enjoy protection from the higher echelons of power at the training school. Our source further tells us that Arinaitwe lives with Moses Kafeero, the commandant of the school.
“He came guarded with around four guards. He does not mix with the rest of the trainees,” said a source.
Arinaitwe drives a tinted car and regularly goes to Stanbic bank Masindi ATM to withdraw money often under the cover of darkness to avoid detection. Another source says: “He changes police cars and sometimes he travels in a police ambulance to avoid detection”.
When contacted, Kafeero, the commandant of the training school, confirmed that Arinaitwe is “a trainee undergoing a course”. However, when we asked for specifics about the course, Kafeero denied knowledge of what exactly Arinaitwe is training in.
It could have been different for Arinaitwe. Before he gruesomely manhandled Besigye, most of his associates knew him as a very calm, collected, soft-spoken and rational man. They couldn’t imagine that he is capable of such degree of anger and violence.
What happened to the young man? Was this the consequence of indoctrination he could have undergone when he joined the police?
Arinaitwe graduated from the Uganda Christian University Mukono, in 2006 and, after searching for a job in vain for two years, joined the Uganda Police Force.
“There was a sense that he joined the police because he couldn’t find a job,” an acquaintance of his told The Observer after the April incident.
Upon completion of training, Arinaitwe was first posted to police headquarters in Kibuli, where he did not stay long before he was attached to the security of Pastor Robert Kayanja of Rubaga Miracle Centre.
He became Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in September 2007, and his current rank is Assistant Superintendent of Police