By Alex Muhumuza
A tall tale is awash on the Facebook page of the fugitive that calls himself “RPF Gakwerere”, and on Kampala propaganda organs that specialize in spreading misinformation about the Rwandan leadership, such as “glpost”.
An individual that calls himself Chris Kamo writing on the “Gakwerere” (aka Kayumba Nyamwasa) page weaves his concocted smear around a senior DR Congo military official, Maj. Gen. Jonas Luize Padiri. None of the story is collaborated with any evidence, or proof – which is the standard operating procedure of RNC and CMI misinformation operations.
Kamo’s smear attempts to tarnish Gen. Padiri along with the Rwandan leadership with allegations pushing the idea that the Congolese general “works for Kigali”, specifically with Gen. Kabarebe, in supposed deals involving diamonds, gold and other mines. It is an elaborate fiction that weaves vignettes of gun running, mineral sales for commissions, fantastical riches supposedly gained from looting operations and the like.
The problem for the RNC and CMI propagandists is that the crimes they project upon Kigali (and on Gen. Padiri) in reality are crimes committed by none other than their bosses in Kampala, and their own generals most notoriously First Brother Salim Saleh. It is Uganda, and no one else, that the International Court of Justice has indicted, and ordered to pay a vast sum of money to Kinshasa.
It is Uganda’s proxies Nyamwasa, (and now FDLR) that have been stealing and cheating from the Congolese. “It is truly incredible to see propagandists that work for the Ugandan leadership, and for proven criminals like Nyamwasa trying to tarnish other people!,” exclaimed a reader.
Their tale further alleges that Gen. Padiri then became “a fully-blown double agent for Rwanda, reporting directly to Gen. Kabarebe!”
Such a story can only deceive people that haven’t the first idea about the Congolese situation, as any observer will note.
Kamo’s Facebook post on Nyamwasa’s Facebook page and reproduced on glpost has one principle aim: to create suspicion between the leadership of DR Congo, and Gen. Jonas Luize Padiri – whom they are doing their best to tarnish as an “agent” for another country. It is a bid, albeit amateurish, to light the sparks of discord in Kinshasa.
To unpack how it unfolds, it is necessary to first of all understand what RNC, the anti-Rwanda terrorist group; together with its patrons in Kampala stand to gain should there be misunderstandings and suspicions between civilian and military leaderships of DRC. One has to understand first and foremost that a stable, peaceful DR Congo isn’t within the interests of Kayumba Nyamwasa, his RNC and their Ugandan backers.
The Ugandan President has long had designs of installing a puppet leadership in Kigali, and he and Nyamwasa long ago signed a devil’s pact to that effect. Their calculation was to destabilize Rwanda, and the Congo would be a base to train their fighters, and from where to bring conflict back to Rwanda – all this is a matter of record.
The UN Group of Experts on DRC late last year meticulously showed recruitment activities for RNC and the so-called “P5” group of which RNC is the predominant partner. The report detailed Uganda’s recruitment activities, whereby they lured young Banyarwanda men from places like refugee camps with promises of jobs, or visas to Western countries.
CMI (Uganda’s Military Intelligence) itself was caught red handed, having provided forged Ugandan travel documents to a group of 46 young Rwandan refugees, meant to help them cross the Uganda-Tanzania border from where they would go through Burundi and on to RNC training camps in eastern Congo.
The fellows themselves – when intercepted by Ugandan Immigration authorities, and when interrogated by the Border Police – confessed that CMI was their recruiter. The embarrassed Ugandan authorities feigned to “let the law take its course”. Yet, scarcely three months later someone “higher up” had them released from jail. They just continued on to their original destination.
This year a new leadership took power in Kinshasa; one more interested in the peace and stability of their country. This leadership went about committing itself to partnering militarily with neighbors to uproot the forces that have wreaked so much misery, and for so long on its people.
That spelt serious trouble for Nyamwasa, his RNC and their FDLR genocidal allies. Kampala was especially panicked, the writing already on the wall for Museveni after the December 2018 arrests by Congolese authorities of FDLR officials LaForge Fils Bazeye and Theophile Abega. Kinshasa was scuttling Kampala’s nefarious plots in a spectacular way.
Then early in June, this year, RNC camps in the bushes of Minembwe came under attack. It was a brutal rout. RNC’s top commander Captain Sibomana, “Sibo” Charles was amongst the casualties, dead along with hundreds of others, while those like Maj. (rtd) Mudathir Habib were captured.
Over 200 RNC fighters were dead and multitudes captured together with their weapons.
It was a heavy blow that shook the traitorous Kayumba Nyamwasa from where he “commands” in the luxurious confinements of his Pretoria home. “One can only hope that Kayumba will be made answerable for the children of Banyarwanda that he has lured, or forced to join his rebel group while he himself is very far away!” a Kigali observer commented.
Others were outraged to learn that the RNC head, even as he put the children of others in harm’s way, makes sure his relatives like the cowardly Kayumba Rugema – “a fellow most talented in making noise on Facebook and riding around in CMI vehicles as they kidnap innocent Rwandans” – are nowhere near the frontline.
Following the bad defeat they suffered in Minembwe, DRC, their new strategy is emerging. It is to sow a campaign of misinformation – of the same kind they have long targetted Rwanda with – to now include DRC officials, like the targeting of Gen. Padiri. They are desperate to create this narrative in the new Kinshasa, same as the old one, that “Rwanda is the enemy”.
That won’t wash any longer, as Kigali analysts observe. “The new guys in Kinshasa are cut from a completely different fabric.”
In any case, another observer asked, if RNC and CMI are talking of the “looting of diamonds, gold” and so on, to tarnish a Congolese general together with the Rwandan leadership, who between Rwanda and Uganda has been convicted of looting in DRC?!
It is Uganda. The International Court of Justice in 2005 ordered Kampala to pay Kinshasa US$ 10 billion. They haven’t paid up.
Something that’s become clearer over time is that the Ugandan regime and its proxies seem to think propaganda games can alter facts.
Going by how they’ve fared in the past, they will fail again.