By Patience Kirabo
Five Rwandan women, nine men, and two children are the latest victims of Uganda’s harassment and illegal incarceration to be dumped at the Cyanika border following extortion of their hard-earned money.
The victims, who arrived at the border yesterday September 8th at around 4:30 PM, decry getting robbed of money and personal belongings amounting to millions of Ugandan shillings at the hands of Ugandan security agents.
In an organized campaign to harass or hunt Rwandan nationals in Uganda, all 16 victims were rounded up from Kanaba sub-county in Uganda’s Kisoro District between the dates of 5th to 6th September on accusations of “illegal entry” into Uganda. They were all bundled up into the nearby police station, insulted, mistreated, and subsequently dumped at Cyanika.
The security officials upon arbitrarily arresting the victims confiscated all their phones, took their money, and forcefully requested their Mobile Money accounts credentials.
The concocted accusation of “illegal entry” and others most notoriously “spying” have long provided grounds for Ugandan security organs – most especially the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, CMI – to keep harassing Rwandan nationals, abducting many and illegally detaining them, moreover incommunicado, followed by torture. Many then are dumped at the borders.
“The security men took all our cash and belongings, then collected our phones and immediately asked for our MoMo passwords to withdraw the remaining money”, narrates Mugwizashyaka Angelique one of the dumped victims yesterday.
34-year-old Mugwizashyaka who hails from Ruhango District had been living in Uganda, Old Kampala with her Ugandan husband Ivan Mugisha whom she married in 2017, had children with, after she settled there. However, Mugwizashyaka was arbitrarily arrested on Monday 6, this week, while transacting business in Kisoro District. Her abductors then took her to Kisoro Police Station for detention, with no warning or communication with her family.
The Uganda regime’s hostile policy against Rwanda has provided a loophole for the unscrupulous elements of CMI to victimize Rwandan nationals while extorting them of money, confiscating their belongings, properties, and businesses.
In August 2019 both Uganda and Rwanda signed a memorandum of understanding in Luanda, following mediation efforts by Angola to restore good relations between the two countries. Ugandan security forces however have continued to violate the letter, and spirit of the MoU which among other things prohibits mistreatment of each other’s nationals.