By Alex Muhumuza
Going by reports in Chimpreports, one of Kampala’s main propaganda organs, it looks like a lot of effort went into anti-Rwanda scheming in a meeting that Ugandan President Museveni hosted at Entebbe State House on 24, last month. It was a meeting to which the Ugandan ruler invited a team of his minions among others Philemon Mateke, the state minister for regional cooperation; Abel Kandiho the chief of Ugandan Military Intelligence (CMI); as well as a couple of Kampala-based agents of Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC.
Now Chimpreports, a website reputed to be under the control of Col. CK Asiimwe the CMI deputy director in charge of counterterrorism is busy spinning the overtly hostile and demonstrably false anti-Rwanda things said in that meeting as if they were truth itself.
The things Chimpreports is publishing this week, first on Monday, then yesterday however only are part of an ongoing trend that’s been obvious even immediately after presidents Kagame and Museveni upended their signatures on the Memorandum of Understanding last August, ostensibly to bring peace back between their countries. The Ugandan ruler has very little intention of fulfilling his part of the obligations, as laid out in the MoU.
The things that transpired in that meeting, going by the stories in Chimpreports, offer another clue. In the first place, any observer will wonder: if Museveni were truly serious about “peace” as he claims, would he hobnob with the very people Kigali has named as part of the problem – offering them a media platform to basically disseminate propaganda and misinformation?
Yet that’s exactly what Museveni has done.
Philemon Mateke for instance uttered demonstrably false claims about his supposed familiarity with President Kagame in comments calculated to deceive. Or to mislead the public into thinking that he (Mateke) had nothing to do with a terrorist attack in Rwanda in that killed 14 civilians.
But Rwanda has offered proof that Mateke indeed was behind the terrorism; and that a phone handset – collected after the attackers were repulsed, with 19 of them killed – was in contact with his number before and during the attack in Kinigi District in October last year.
Also, RNC agents Prossy Bonabaana and Sulah Nuwamanya Wakabirigi were given their turn to utter a lot of long-ago discredited accusations against the Rwandan leadership – such as Bonabaana’s often repeated claims that “Rwanda killed her husband”, one Rwema Gendarme, a Congolese national. Bonabaana, together with another woman called Phionah Barungi that was brought to the meeting, and who too alleges that “Rwanda killed her husband”, went ahead to level similar accusations throughout the meeting according to what Chimpreports wrote.
Soon it was Nuwamanya’s turn and he unleashed the usual anti-Rwanda RNC slanders. Nuwamanya, a bitter Rwandan that one time had his employment contract with a Kigali newspaper terminated, for “acts of gross indiscipline”, is quoted saying: “all Kagame is looking for is a legal way ‘to resume’ his killings against refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda.”
But Museveni himself has signed off on documents that specify these are exactly the kind of people who, because of their lies and propaganda; and others due to their outright crimes against Rwanda and Rwandan citizens, must be held accountable, or prosecuted. These are the people whose groups such as Bonabaana and Nuwamanya’s fictitious NGO Self Worth Initiative (SWI) must be disbanded; just like RNC – for which the two work under cover of the “NGO” – must be dismantled in Uganda.
Museveni instead is doing the exact opposite.
Kigali observers see this behavior as, “games that show he does not understand the full implications of how Rwanda takes such things.”
“Museveni does not understand that Rwanda takes such provocations with utmost seriousness; and that this behavior only strengthen Rwanda’s resolve to defend herself. For one thing it means President Museveni can completely forget about ‘border opening’ if those are the ways that he and his government have chosen,” said a Rwandan establishment insider.
Those ways include giving Philemon Mateke – who besides planning terror attacks in Rwanda also is the de facto coordinator of all the proxy armed groups in Museveni’s long running plots to destabilize Rwanda and cause “regime change in Kigali” – a platform to insolently claim he’s been “talking to Kagame”. And that when he did, it was with the very number that, as Rwanda has shown, the Kinigi attackers were using when they were in contact with Mateke.
Mateke, who has been exposed as a coordinator of the anti-Rwanda FDLR and RUD-Urunana terror groups then claims: “Kagame knows my telephone number very well because I used to talk to him using it.
“This telephone number, which Kigali is using against me as the one used to coordinate with Kinigi attackers is my usual number, which I used to talk to President Kagame and therefore there is nothing unusual with this telephone number and it’s not surprising that they use it in their propaganda against me since they know it!”
Museveni allows old man Mateke – whom he appointed knowing very well he is a longtime sympathizer of the Parmehutu ideology from way back in the Sixties as an adherent of the founder of the ideology Gregoire Kayibanda – to deliberately spout provocative misinformation. A native of the Burera region, Mateke’s parents crossed with him to Uganda while he still was in his teens.
But nevertheless after a time he had managed to pass himself off as Ugandan, according to sources from the Bufumbira region, one of them Theinspiration20 – a blog site specializing in Kisoro issues. In the 70s, “Mateke was an expert in identifying Rwandese for arrest, torture and killing, and his main victims were the children of Rwandan refugees,” writes Theinspiration20 in a post early last year.
Mateke’s “ideology” apparently goes a long way back.
On the other hand, knowledgeable sources tell us, other than President Kagame shaking hands with Mateke in passing, like what happens when a visiting head of state shakes hands with dignitaries that line up to receive him, the Rwandan leader doesn’t know this man.
A lot more of the lies were coming out of the Entebbe State House Meeting.
As Prossy Bonabaana and Phionah Barungi made their allegations that “Rwanda ‘kidnapped and killed’ their husbands” – Rwema Gendarme and Bosco Ndahiro respectively – Chimpreports writes that Barungi was “weeping uncontrollably”. So much so that Museveni had to sooth and comfort her, the website says. All the time, Museveni was acting in a way to indicate what the women said was “news to him”; and that he knew nothing about the husbands.
Information however will show that the women, though they are willing pawns in Kampala’s campaign of propaganda against Rwanda; they too have been deceived by Museveni. Inquiries from top officials in Kigali have revealed that one time, during a heads of state meeting in Addis Ababa Museveni approached President Kagame and asked him if he knew of some two men, “Rwema Gendarme and Bosco Ndahiro”.
According to our source, Kagame replied he had no idea who they were.
But when Rwandan authorities later made their inquiries, it was to discover that in fact Museveni, and his brother Gen. Salim Saleh were using Gendarme and Ndahiro in their anti-Rwanda acts, and against Rwanda’s interests. Later when the fellows disappeared into the forests of eastern Congo to join RNC, Museveni must have known it. To pretend he knows nothing of them is characteristic of Museveni, who habitually denies things that are out in the open.
The Ugandan president, one that reads newspapers will remember, could even pretend he did not know someone like Tribert Rujugiro, the RNC chief financier! Yet Rujugiro had even built a factory in Arua, in which Museveni’s very brother Saleh had 15 percent shares.
How can a grown man lie like that!, people ask in astonishment. Other infamous incidents include when Museveni denied meeting RNC officials like Charlotte Mukankusi and Eugene Gasana – which he did in March last year. When confronted with evidence, he shamefacedly claimed he “met them accidentally”.
There are endless examples of such duplicity by the Ugandan ruler.
“So when he pretends he knows nothing about the husbands of Bonabaana and Barungi as the two weep before him, it is just very typical of him,” laughed our source.
But, whatever he does, Museveni has to know that Rwanda will never allow him to play with her security. He will either do everything that’s agreed to in the MoU, or he will totally forget Kigali acquiescing to any of his demands, concluded the high-profile source.