10 days on, Uganda’s CMI still holding Rwandan incommunicado

Today Tuesday 19th December marks 10 days after Uganda’s Military Intelligence illegally picked up and detained Mr. Fidele Gatsinzi a Rwandan national that had gone to the Ugandan capital to visit his son.

Mr. Gatsinzi, was arrested on 9th December 2017 by RNC operatives in Uganda who work with the chief of CMI Brig.Gen Abel Kandiho. He was picked from an uptown mall, Capital Shoppers by CMI agents working closely with RNC fugitives Rugema Kayumba and Cpl Mulindwa aka Mukobozi and remains detained incommunicado till today.

Despite Ugandan laws stating that a suspect cannot be detained for more than 48 hours before being formally charged in the courts of law, Gatsinzi remains under detention without even access to legal counsel.

He continues to be held illegally with no relative, friend or consular official accessing him or knowing the whereabouts of his place of detention.

“We are extremely worried about his condition,” a close relative of Gatsinzi told this reporter. “We are reliably informed that he might be undergoing extreme conditions of torture to induce false confessions from him.”

Despite being a civilian, highly placed intelligence sources say Gatsinzi might be held in Mbuya military barracks. Sources further say he’s subjected to intense pressure to confess crimes of espionage, kidnapping and killing Rwandan refugees in Ugandan, despite Rwanda being his domicile.

“Gatsinzi has not received any consular support as international norms require because CMI flouted international law by refusing to allow consular visits to the Rwandan embassy in Kampala,” the relative further said.

However, this is not surprising since another Rwandan, Rene Rutagungira was detained illegally for almost 3months without any formal charges. Rutagungira was recently produced in the military court with trumped-up charges, which seem to be falling apart.  CCTV Cameras showed CMI operatives kidnapping him from a bar in a Kampala suburb.

Since September, dozens of Rwandans have been illegally detained under unclear circumstances by CMI and subjected to torture to induce false confessions that they allegedly spy for Rwanda.

On 23rd Sept 2017, three Rwandans, Bayingana James, Nsekanabo Lando Ali, Byaruhanga Nduwamungu Vianney were arrested by Uganda’s CMI from Bukasa and detained in Mbuya for three months till their release in November.

A trend is emerging that is increasingly making Rwandans feel unsafe of traveling to and in Uganda.

It is a pattern in the form of a self-fulfilling prophecy: an innocent person is kidnapped, held incommunicado and tortured, and is made to confess to false accusations, then is brought to the public where CMI is able to “confirm” that the suspect “admits” to the accusations being brought against them.

The method is a diversionary tactic. It conceals the reported operations of CMI and the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) of recruiting young Rwandans in refugee camps into rebel ranks for the RNC.

However, this concealment was exposed, when Uganda’s Police arrested 41 young Rwandans that had been mobilized by RNC and CMI from refugee camps to join rebel ranks. They were arrested enroute to Burundi where they would cross to RNC training base in Minembwe S.Kivu of DRC.

Uganda’s CMI has been trying to twist the truth about RNC recruitment drive and recently alleged through its proxy websites that the arrested 41 recruits were going for “Missionary” work in Burundi.