By John Mugabi
Security operatives of the Museveni regime have kidnapped yet another Rwandan in Uganda.
These are some of the Rwandans CMI kidnapped, held incommunicado, tortured and later dumped at the border.
The victim is one Rogers Donne Kayibanda of Kabeza in Kigali. The young man had travelled to Kampala on Thursday 10, this month to attend his brother, John Kayibanda’s civil wedding ceremony. That was in the Kisaasi neighborhood of Kampala.
It was while he had gone to relax in a Sauna with friends that men reported to be agents of Museveni’s dreaded Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence picked him.
No one knows where they took Rogers, and his relatives in Kabeza where he lives with his uncle, a certain Mr. Gapfizi, are very worried what may happen to him.
Rogers’ relatives in Kampala have reported the case to the police while the Rwandan High Commission in Kampala is preparing a “note verbale” to Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
CMI and other Ugandan spy agencies like internal Security Organization (ISO) have in the recent past made it a habit to arrest, abduct and torture Rwandans, so much so that it has almost become endemic.
Media has been full of reports of Rwandans that suffered abuse while in custody of CMI or ISO. These are either Banyarwanda that live in Uganda, work there or run businesses. Or Rwandans that travel to Uganda for different purposes.
Many are traders. Others go to visit for any different reason, or just to relax.
Those finding themselves in CMI or ISO hands will report torture, to the extent some have ended up in wheelchairs. They will suffer inhuman interrogation. “Uganda really has to re-examine this behavior of its spy agencies in regard to innocent citizens of a neighbor,” said a regional security analyst.
Rogers’ case is the latest among very many whereby Rwandans are languishing in Ugandan prisons, or CMI and ISO “safe houses” across Kampala. They accuse the victims of being “spies of Kigali”.
But, many ask, if a Rwandan father is visiting his child in a Ugandan school, or goes to a relative’s wedding, in what way is he a spy?
Yet CMI or ISO are known to arrest such people.
They have also arrested Rwandan businessmen that were only transiting through Kampala to Nairobi, even when such businessmen proved they had tickets to Nairobi.
Ugandan security has arrested dozens of Rwandans travelling in buses, as happened last year in districts such as Kisoro, and thrown all of them in jail.
The fact is, there is a campaign of harassment against Rwandans, and “spying is just an excuse”, said one Rwandan gentleman that survived a CMI safe house.
A simple Google search will come up with several media reports describing these incidents. On the other hand, there has not been a single incident of Rwandan police or other security organs abusing the rights of Ugandans, not even one slap.
But several Rwandans have been abducted in Uganda, physically abused or tortured, yet the authorities never take the lawful step to notify the Rwandan diplomatic mission in Kampala of arrests of its citizens.
Yet on Thursday last week, Barnabas Taremwa, an influential Ugandan businessman penned a letter in Chimpreports a Ugandan website implying that “there are problems between Uganda and Rwanda”, as if leaders of both countries are equally at fault.
A simple examination of events, like the aggressive behavior of Uganda’s security operatives against Rwandans; like Kampala’s disruption of freedom of movement of Rwandans; like such serious issues as the Museveni regime hosting and facilitating anti-Rwanda terror groups clearly indicate the problem is Museveni’s, alone.
“Taremwa’s letter is only an attempt at creating a false equivalence between Museveni and President Kagame! Taremwa has to question more closely the behavior of Museveni, and his security apparatus who are against Rwanda,” said an informed observer.