By Alex Muhumuza
As the rulers of Uganda flounder about, refusing to honor the terms of the Angola MoU to normalize relations with Rwanda, their propaganda media have taken to concocting the wildest lies in their continuous mission to deflect blame upon Rwanda. The latest offering by Chimpreports – a website controlled by Col. CK Asiimwe, the deputy director of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, CMI, in charge of anti-terrorism – outdoes every deranged anti-Rwanda smear to date.
With its usual pretentiousness that of publishing “investigative reports”, Chimpreports has this Tuesday come out with claims that it is “exposing why Kagame is reluctant to open the border”.
With its trademark scatterbrained approach to its task of anti-Rwanda smears, the website’s claims – at least from what one can try to make sense of – can be condensed into the following bullet points:
- That “Kagame has closed the border ‘to hit Uganda where it hurts most – the economy.
- That “Kagame decided to close the border due to fear of an armed movement that was threatening his hold onto power.
- That “Kagame is scared of a threat coming from the Banyarwanda refugee population in Uganda.
- That “Kagame wants to keep Rwandans locked into their country because, should they leave, they can join the exiled opposition.
- And that “if Kagame opened the border, Rwandans would flock across the border in search of food!”
This in a nutshell is Chimpreports’ latest propagandist talking points along which it piles of elaborate fictions – of the kind that they keep churning out as part of the Museveni regime’s three-year campaign of misinformation against Kigali. At times one almost feels pity for Giles Muhame, Chimpreports’ supposed editor in chief who is compelled to write such infantile propaganda, day in day out.
This same Muhame in April last year claimed that Rwandan troops had crossed into Kisoro, “to look for food and drinks”. When challenged to produce some evidence, he said he would. He assured everyone he would show photographs and video. People waited, and waited. Nothing. Months came and went, and fellow only kept quiet, even as Rwanda Twitter kept taunting him to produce his “evidence”, laughing at him.
One interesting thing with the Kampala propagandists is their fixation with food. It is apparent they long ago swallowed their own delusions that food grows only in Uganda, many have noted. Visual evidence will show Rwanda is very food secure, and cannot depend on Uganda for food. Food markets all over the country are full to bursting.
“It is just laughable, this conceit of the Ugandan media that we can’t eat without Uganda; so how are we living with none of their food for a year now!” laughed a Kigali resident.
The latest Chimpreports hit job on Rwanda however is remarkable for what it reveals about Kampala’s ongoing efforts, or acts to destabilize Rwanda, though the writer doesn’t seem aware he is exposing his masters.
When Chimpreports for instance makes the false claim that “Rwanda is afraid of an armed movement made up of refugees”; which is followed by another that “Kagame was told ‘refugees were being helped to shift to DRC for military training with the view of toppling the leadership in Kigali’”, it lays Museveni and his regime bare. It is that the regime indeed works with RNC, FDLR and other armed groups as Museveni’s proxies in their long-reported project of “regime change” in Kigali.
Knowledgeable people will see that one of the main purposes of maintaining Rwandan refugee camps in Uganda is because these are fertile recruiting grounds for fighters for Museveni’s proxies. It is one of the reasons Kampala has not disbanded the camps with sizable Rwandan populations – though the UN itself, through its agency for refugees, UNHCR, declared a cessation clause for Rwandan refugees on 30 June, 2013.
The clause nullified refugee status for all Rwandans – the UN itself having ascertained, after years of observation and verification, that there no longer was reason for a single Rwandan to remain in exile. UNHCR was satisfied that Rwanda was safe for all her citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, or religious affiliations, and that there could be no fear of persecution since Rwanda is defined by rule of law.
Yet Uganda up to now has declined to repatriate Rwandan refugees; or disband the camps to encourage them to go home. In fact Uganda has been running advertisements, on giant posters along the borders with Rwanda, trying to encourage Rwandan to cross over and get registered as refugees. Why?
Other than the camps being recruitment catchment areas for rebel groups – which the Ugandan propagandists do not mention – they also are cash cows for Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister, and high-ranking officials. The OPM last year was badly exposed by the UN oversight committee for running scams through which the Ugandans embezzled millions of dollars of donor funds. Germany, Japan and Britain were so disgusted they cut off refugee funding.
These “camps of shame” serve another purpose for Museveni however, which is that they regularly are weaponized as another propaganda tool against Rwanda. As long as they are there, Kampala can keep peddling the fiction that “Rwandan spies are kidnapping Rwandan refugees!”
Sure enough Chimpreports regurgitates this lie, for the thousands time slandering Rene Rutagungira – a Rwandan national that CMI illegally detained for over two years, torturing him while denying him due legal process – that he participated in “the kidnap of Joel Mutabazi”. The latter is someone who in fact Uganda Police handed to Rwandan counterparts in broad daylight, under a bilateral cooperation framework.
How so convenient for Museveni and his people to keep tarnishing Rwanda with allegations of kidnaps of Rwandan refugees, when there should be no Rwandan refugees Uganda at all!, any objective person will exclaim.
But even as Chimpreports keeps weaving its falsehoods, it fails to see their incongruity. For Rwanda “to fear armed groups from across the border”, a pre-condition for that supposed fear would be if those groups had ever won a single battle against one platoon of Rwandan forces.
That has never come close to happening. Those few times they have tried, they’ve thoroughly regretted it. When the FLN Callixte Nsabimana, the so-called “Sankara” staged a couple of terrorist attacks in Southern Province in 2017, killing civilians, burning a couple of vehicles and looting shops, Rwanda Defense Force units pursued them into the Nyungwe Forest. The terrorists disappeared into Burundi.
When Nsabimana later was arrested, during his trial he disclosed how he worked with security authorities from Bujumbura and Kampala, to fund, arm, or facilitate his anti-Rwanda terrorism.
When RUD-Urunana terrorists attacked Kinigi District October last year, killing innocent civilians, 19 of the attackers lost their lives. Rwandan security forces swiftly pursued and put them out of action and capturing five alive. Three of the terrorists fled back across the border to Uganda. There they gave Museveni’s State Minister for Regional Cooperation Philemon Mateke – the coordinator of the attack – the bad news.
These are facts that lay bare the shallow falsehoods of Chimpreports. Just like the facts of Rwanda’s so called “closure of the border” which they think they can mislead everyone into forgetting. Rwanda did not “close the border”. Rwanda advised her people against travel to Uganda after years of Ugandan security agencies running berserk persecuting Rwandans; harassing them with illegal arrests on false charges, illegally detaining, and torturing them. Apart from Rwandans, everyone of every nationality crosses the borders as they wish.
Rwanda also restricted Ugandan goods and commerce. This was on the reasoning that if Rwandan nationals could not freely travel to Uganda – i.e. with no fear that some CMI character would abduct them – then there could be no freedom of trade with Uganda.
In other words, the closure of the border is entirely the doing of Uganda, whatever the propaganda of Chimpreports and all the others claim.