Renewed tensions in Rwanda-Uganda ties as Museveni encourages campaign against Rwanda

As tensions are rippling between Rwanda and Uganda ties, new information has disclosed that Ugandan Head of State Yoweri Museveni speaks directly on phone with self-exiled Rwandan dissident David Himbara.

According to an article from The Standard, Museveni told Himbara, who lives in Toronto, Canada, that he likes his writing; most especially the latter’s numerous blog and Facebook posts slandering or abusing Rwanda’s leadership.

Himbara’s writings on these platforms bear no resemblance to the true situation in Rwanda, as anyone that has read them and knows Rwanda will testify. However, this ability to invent an alternative reality seems to be what particularly tickles Museveni.

Mr. Himbara’s musings are also characterized by an evident bitterness against, and obsession with, the person of President Paul Kagame, very often descending into childish name-calling. Why Museveni would wish to share in this obsession leaves much to be desired.

Rwandair, the Kigali Convention Center, five star hotels, road infrastructure and energy projects, the new airport coming up in Bugesera…all these and other structures denoting progress and development of Rwanda under the RPF are frequent targets of Himbara’s. It has got to the extent that, a Facebook user wondered, it seems the only thing that would please this man, Himbara, is if all Rwandans lived in grass thatched huts!

But even if there wasn’t a single developmental infrastructure going up in Rwanda, observers say, that would not satisfy Himbara. He and the groups he works with have only one objective – which is to fight the current Rwandan administration with any means possible: terrorism, propaganda, and misinformation – in the hope that this will lead them to take power in Kigali.

Himbara is a senior member of the RNC terrorist organization that is led by Kayumba Nyamwasa; it has publicly declared to wage an armed war against Rwanda and has in the past infiltrated the country and conducted terror operations, including throwing grenades in markets leaving innocent women and children killed and others seriously injured; RNC also has a training and reorganization base in Minembwe, South Kivu, DRC that is logistically supported by the Burundi government.

RNC, everyone including Museveni knows, has been recruiting in refugee camps in Western Uganda and anywhere Rwandans can be found with the help of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) under the direct command of President Museveni.

It would seem that David Himbara has a contract with Tribert Rujugiro, who pays him a monthly stipend for his propaganda and misinformation efforts against Rwanda;Moreover, this website has evidence to show that it is Rujugiro who introduced Himbara to Museveni, writes The Standard.

It is also worth recalling that back in May 2016 Rujugiro gave Himbara $440.000 to pay an American lobby, Podesta Group, for Himbara to testify in the U.S. Congress. Months later Rujugiro and Himbara attempted a similar move in the Canadian Parliament but it flopped after the Rwandan diaspora in that country petitioned against it.

Apparently, Museveni and Rujugiro have found something in common: an enemy. Anyone who closely follows the Museveni regime’s efforts to destabilize Rwanda knows that the self-exiled Tribert Rujugiro, who is one of the RNC’s major financiers, is well established in Uganda. Rujugiro also has a close relationship with Salim Saleh, Museveni’s young brother. Saleh is a partner in Rujugiro’s tobacco business in Uganda. Documents from the Uganda registry of companies shows Saleh owns 15 percent of shares in this tobacco business.

Rujugiro family members, like his son, often travel to Uganda where they are able to access heavy police escort; moreover, Rujugiro’s business manager Sgt (rtd) Claude Ndatinya also enjoys similar armed police escort, which only a few Ugandans are able to access.

Observers of Uganda/Rwanda relations say Himbara’s propaganda – such as Soft Power, Chimp Reports, Titus Seruga on Facebook, Gareth Ofungi on Twitter, etc. –has been integrated into that of CMI and ISO, just as the activities of RNC in Uganda are coordinated with CMI and ISO.

The facts are in the public domain. For instance, recently 46 Rwandan refugees were caught red-handed with forged Uganda travel documents that were provided by CMI to facilitate their travel to the RNC training centre in Minembwe, DRC. Even President Museveni himself is on record this year conceding that he knew those individuals were heading for training with the support of CMI, “A group of Banyarwanda was being recruited through Tanzania and Burundi to go to Congo. They said they were going for church work but when they were interrogated it was found the work was not exactly religious. It was something else,” Museveni said on March 25, 2018.

But his government last month released these recruits without even sharing information with its neighbour, Rwanda, through existing channels of communication. Now Museveni is speaking directly to one of their bosses, Himbara. Yet another development that speaks volumes.