By Joel Ruhinankiko
The body of a Rwandan man who died last Saturday in Kisoro has finally been repatriated to Rwanda despite Uganda Police still detaining his wife for no good reason.
Faustin Niyonzima, a Rwandan that was in his 30s, was found brutally murdered in the wee hours of Saturday (6 July) in Mugwata village near Kisoro town. His family members are certain he was murdered simply for being a Rwandan. Uganda has become a dangerous place for Rwandans traveling there, or those already living there. That is ever since the Museveni regime adopted a hostile stance against Rwanda, and by extension Rwandan nationals.
Museveni, as has been reported and proven numerous times, is the main backer of groups bent on destabilizing Rwanda, but most notably Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC. It is as a result of this hostility, family members of Niyonzima are convinced, that he was murdered.
Uganda’s notorious Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and ISO have been working hand in hand with RNC agents to recruit all over Uganda, but most notably in the west and south west of the country. Their modus operandi is to move into areas with sizable Kinyarwanda-speaking communities, knock on doors, and enter. They recruit for RNC in two ways: fighters to be transported to training camps in DRC, and contributors of money or material.
The people on whose doors they knock are Banyarwanda most of whom want nothing to do with traitorous RNC activities. But when they tell the CMI and RNC recruiters that they don’t want anything to do with groups committed to taking conflict back to Rwanda, the recruiters threaten them. They tell them in no uncertain terms “to expect bad things to happen to them”.
Bad things have indeed happened to Rwandans in recent years in Museveni’s Uganda.
A large number of Rwandans have gone missing, abducted, held incommunicado, illegally jailed and tortured. A good many have been killed. The Ugandan authorities do not care to solve the extra-judicial killings. They know the powerful hand behind it all.
In the case of Niyonzima – whose murder looked a coordinated affair “calculated to instill the most fear in anyone that if CMI wants to recruit you for RNC and you refuse, you will meet a horrible end” – his body was mutilated almost beyond recognition. The killers gauged his eyes out and did other gruesome things to it. The repatriation of Niyonzima’s body was through no formal channels and no Ugandan authority accompanied the deceased.
Furthermore, it has come to light that relatives who repatriated the body had to bribe Ugandan immigration officials to let the body to cross into Rwanda. Also Uganda Police decided to arrest and imprison Niyonzima’s widow, claiming that she was suspected of killing her husband. “It is a deliberate act that adds to the trauma of the poor woman,” said a family friend.
“Looking at the man’s body, eyes gauged out, body mutilated, with deep bruises all over it, how could anyone claim a woman did that? It was not a job of one individual; it was group work and now the woman is going to pay the price for a crime she did not commit,” said a source that preferred anonymity.
“They are using the deceased’s wife to cover up for the true criminals, which is the CMI goons and their RNC friends who move around actually threatening people that they will kill them,” added the source in an interview with this website.
The source further disclosed that Rwanda Immigration officials requested a phone call with Niyonzima’s wife, with the aim to ask her the exact location of their former residence in Rwanda, and possibly what might be behind his death. The call was cut short by Uganda police.
To our source, this was highly suspicious behavior on the part of Ugandan officials. What were they hiding?
Being a Rwanda national in Uganda became such a hazardous thing that Rwandan authorities earlier this year, 1st March, issued a strong warning against travel to the neighbor country. Foreign Affairs Minister Richard Sezibera said the safety and security of Rwandans once in Uganda could not be guaranteed.
The Minister cited the hundreds upon hundreds of illegally incarcerated Rwandan nationals – people that just were taken off buses, or from places of residence and from work places, and thrown into jails. He cited other aspect of the lawless behavior of the Ugandan state in warning Rwandan nationals to stay put rather than attempt to cross the border any longer.
The deaths of people like Niyonzima are daily proof that such warnings were for good reason.