If you have never watched the South Korean thriller series titled “Pied Piper”, then you better rush to the nearest video library and grab yourself a copy. The 2016 series feature a News anchor with TNN Television Jung Soo-jyung (Yoo Jun-sang) who was the real Pied Piper but was hard to believe or get evidence until the last episode. He was always present at almost all the tragic incidents that were happening but until later, no one suspected him. Welcome to Uganda’s version of Pied Piper although this isn’t a movie but reality.
Whenever Ugandans especially social media and politics lovers hear or come across the name Tom Voltaire Okwalinga popularly known as TVO, their bodies chill. The man (at least of late, we are now sure of his sex) has driven Ugandan security agencies crazy for more than a period of seven years trying to reveal his identity although they are yet to get it.
Rise to fame
Many people didn’t know TVO until 2014 when he leaked IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura’s tapes. Following the incident, everyone was rushing to his account and eventually his number of followers rose up. Also last year, he got in trouble with Fred Muwema, after accusing him of having been bribed by the Museveni side to kill the evidence in the Amama-Museveni post election case when his (Muwema) offices were broken into and evidence stolen. Muwema was so furious that he asked the facebook management to reveal his identity so that he can pay him for defamation which facebook rejected.
A lot of people have been suspected of being behind the famous identity but due to lack of evidence, no one has been confirmed. Among the suspects, Robert Shaka, an IT Specialist and a former employee with The US Mission, remains at the top of the list. He has been arrested more than once but eventually released for lack of evidence. The most recent accusation is from Andrew Mwenda; who in his facebook post on January 29, accused Shaka of being the person behind the TVO name.
This didn’t go well with Shaka who ran to court accusing Mwenda of defamation and malicious damage to his (Shaka) reputation. Mwenda also pointed out Henry Rugasira, Abbey Semuwemba and a lady whom he didn’t mention her name at the time, of helping Shaka in the running of the TVO account. Few days after this post, TVO’s account disappeared and Mwenda went on to boast how he was done with him only moments later for the account to re-appear sending Mwenda in total silence.
Among other suspects include; Tamale Mirundi, a former Presidential Press Secretary and Charles Rwomushana, a political critic. The drama bit about the suspects is that of recent, some people have been suspecting Andrew Mwenda while others believe it’s a government owned account used to trick the people who are against President Museveni.
Robert Shaka who uses alias Maverick Blutaski on facebook has been arrested more than once on accounts of being TVO even if he is eventually released for lack of evidence. At a certain point, the security agents confiscated his laptops from his Kampala home in relation to the TVO incident. However on several occasions, TVO has come out to say that he is not Shaka and vice versa. At a time while Shaka was still in Police custody, TVO went ahead posting as usual and condemning the police for arresting a wrong person.
For a long period of time, the government of Uganda tried to ask facebook to reveal the credentials of TVO that would see him being arrested for cyber violation related crimes but facebook paid a deaf. Even last year when Muwema tried to do the same, facebook refused to grant him access to the information regarding TVO.
The court cases arising as a result of the name TVO are increasing each and every day. First we have the Muwema case against TVO, the Shaka case against Mwenda, and who knows we may see another case tomorrow! When Muwema ran to Courts of law in Ireland, facebook cited that revealing TVO information puts his life in danger and may face harassment considering the Human rights violation record of the Ugandan government. With this defense, the court opted to order TVO to pull down the defamatory post against Muwema and failure to do so, facebook must reveal his identity.
It’s almost the same case with the Shaka-Mwenda incident whereby Shaka wants Mwenda to pull down the post and make a public apology to him in addition to compensate him with 300 million shillings.
But who is TVO???
This is the bigger question everyone is asking him/herself. He tells us that you have once seen him on your big Televison set in your home or heard him on your favorite radio station. In a recent interview with Chimp Reports, TVO managed to discuss some of his private life. He disclosed that he is aged 43, has a daughter who just turned 5 years and not married. Asked about how he manages life financially, he responded that he has businesses and is a landlord to 20 tenants. After the interview, he assured his fans that his identity will never be revealed. He also posted on his facebook account that the interview was conducted on a secure connection.
The mystery continues…
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